GS Mains Model Question & Answer: Centre’s stand on triple talaq based on gender justice. Comment


GS Mains Model Question & Answer: Centre’s stand on triple talaq based on gender justice. Comment


Q. Centre’s stand on triple talaq based on gender justice. Comment. (12.5 Marks)

(General Studies Mains Paper I–Society : Role of women and women's organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues)

Model Answer :

The government has disclosed its stand pursuant to a Supreme Court notice in the wake of a petition filed by an aggrieved Muslim woman against triple talaq, who had challenged its validity.

India is a secular country. Secularism is basic structure as held by the Supreme Court in various judgments, which means it is an unalterable fundamental norm of governance. In a secular country, can you keep a big segment of women perpetually vulnerable on the ground of religion or community?

The government stand is primarily guided by justice, equality, non-discrimination and dignity of woman. In simple terms gender justice, gender equality and gender dignity. These values flow from our Constitution, notably the Fundamental Rights. The right to freedom of religion did not enjoin “every pernicious practice” as being integral to it.

Our Constitution acknowledges the right of faith and religion to practice it. However, every unfair or discriminatory practice may not be central to faith. For instance, no one can say I will practice untouchability because it is part of our faith. That's were constitutional values come in.

Right to equality, non-discrimination on the grounds of sex and the right to live with dignity were part of our Constitution before the western world granted these rights to women in their countries and before international covenants on this were signed globally. Our founding fathers had envisioned these values and made it the foundation of our Rights. The second core of our response is that India is a secular country, secularism has been held to be part of the basic structure of the Constitution.

Many declared Islamic countries have regulated triple talaq or banned it altogether by legislation including providing for arbitration and conciliation. The countries include Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The point to note is that if in an acknowledged Islamic country regulating triple talaq has not been found to be violating of Sharia or any personal law, how such an argument can be relevant in India, an acknowledged secular country.

The Law Commission as a statutory body has asked for a consultation on uniform civil code, which is separate from this legal case. The Law Commission’s wider consultation on the question of a uniform civil code was separate from the triple talaq issue.

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