Where the entire country is lauding the path-breaking verdict of the Supreme Court banning the 1,400-year-old practice of instant divorce by way of announcing triple talaq practiced by Sunni Muslims, Siddiqullah Chowdhury a minister in the West Bengal government and a Trinamool Congress MLA has refused to abide by the apex courts decision.
Lashing out at the apex court, the minister said:
“The Supreme Court and the government can ponder on the triple talaq judgement. We Muslims believe in Islam and it permits triple talaq and it will remain that way.
“We will not tolerate any interference in it.”
When asked if it bothers him that his statement may just evoke another bout of criticism against him, with even court proceedings be ensued against him, the minister said:
“That will be decided by the court and not the media, what we are saying is absolutely right.”
Being highly critical of the judgement passed by a five-judge bench court of Supreme Court, the minister said that the government holds no right to interfere with the Muslim Personal Law, including triple talaq and marriage. He has even asked the Supreme Court to review its order.
In a 395-page ruling, the bench comprising of Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, Kurian Joseph, Rohinton F Nariman, UU Lalit and Abdul Nazeer had rule:
“In view of the different opinions recorded, by a majority of 3:2 the practice of talaq-e-biddat – triple talaq – is set aside.”
Chief Justice Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were the two judges who constituted a minority in the constitutional bench as they had ordered an injunction on triple talaq for six months, within which the government had to consider steps to initiate legislation on the issue.
This judgment came in a petition filed by Sharaya Bano, who was later joined by four other women and a Muslim group.