The court dismissed the petition on grounds that a similar petition was pending before the Supreme Court.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Monday dismissed the petition challenging the ordinance passed by the President on September 19, 2018, seeking to criminalise the practice of instant triple talaq. The court dismissed the petition on grounds that a similar petition was pending before the Supreme Court. The petitioner termed the ordinance unconstitutional on many grounds.
The petition was filed at the end of last month by former municipal corporator Masood Ansari; city-based NGO, Rising Voice Foundation; and advocate Devendra Mishra, challenging the constitutional validity of the ordinance.
President Ram Nath Kovind last month signed the ordinance, which renders instant triple talaq as illegal and void, and attracts a jail term of three years for the husband pronouncing talaq.
The petitioners contended that “the attempt to criminalise divorce in marriage (civil contract) is truly arbitrary, unreasonable and bad in law and violative of Article 14 as such criminal action does not exist in any other religion across India.”
The petitioners sought an interim stay on the sections of the ordinance that made the practice of triple talaq a punishable offence. A division bench of Justices B.R. Gavai and A.M. Dhavale refused to give a hearing to the petition on grounds that a similar petition was pending before the apex court. The Union government had informed the court that a similar matter was pending before the Supreme Court and that it was best to wait for the outcome of that petition.
“As soon as we receive the order copy, we will move the SC,” said the petitioners’ lawyer Tanveer Nizam. Advocate Nizam argued before the court that merely because another petition was pending in the SC, it did not ipso facto act as a stay. He also contended that under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the HC had the jurisdiction to hear the matter for interim relief of no coercive steps against Muslim men in case of such complaints. However, the court dismissed the petition. The bench said that since the matter was pending before the SC, the bench was not inclined to hear it.