Adultery Verdict: Asaduddin Owaisi questions 'Unconstitutional Ordinance' on Triple Talaq

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 27 September 2018, 06:23 PM

Moments after the Supreme Court in a unanimous judgment Thursday decriminalised 158-year-old Section 497 (Adultery Law), All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi raised significant questions regarding the Centre’s ordinance on Triple Talaq Bill.

Terming the Union Cabinet's approval to the ordinance on Triple Talaq Bill ‘unconstitutional’, Owaisi asked the Modi government to roll back their decision, which makes the practice of verbal divorce in Muslim community a crime.

To question the Narendra Modi government on its stance on Triple Talaq Bill, AIMIM chief said, “SC didn’t say Triple Talaq is ‘unconstitutional’ but set it aside.

"The court has said 377 and 497 is ‘unconstitutional’, will Modi Government learn from these judgments and take back their Unconstitutional Ordinance on Triple Talaaq," Owaisi questioned.

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The ordinance to Triple Talaq Bill proposes a three-year term for Muslim men whoever is found guilty of divorcing his wife by spoken words, written or by means such as SMS, WhatsApp or email.

Owaisi's statement came after a five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by CJI Dipak Misra, struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), saying, "Equality is the governing principle of a system. Husband is not the master of the wife".

The bench, also consisting of Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, observed that the 158-year-old law of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is unconstitutional and invites the wrath of the Constitution.

The SC was hearing one Joseph Shine's plea challenging the validity of Section 497 (Adultery Law), which states that whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery.

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Shine, who filed his plea in December 2017, had argued that the law was unjust, illegal and arbitrary and that it violated the fundamental rights of the citizens. He filed a PIL and sought to make men and women equally liable for adultery.

First Published: Thursday, September 27, 2018 01:14 PM
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