All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday welcomed the verdict of the Supreme Court declaring triple talaq unconstitutional, but said that it would be a great challenge to implement it.
The AIMIM chief also said that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) would be holding an executive meeting in Bhopal early next month to formulate a stance on the apex courtâ€™s judgment on triple talaq.
In an exclusive interview with TNM, Owaisi expressed his concerns over the implementation and termed it a grey area. He said, â€śImplementation is a great challenge. We respect the judgement but there are so many issues in it which will come out in future.â€ť
When asked if he favoured the judgement, Owaisi, who is also the member All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) pointed out, â€śIt is a contentious issue, and there was no unanimity amongst the bench itself. There were two differing views amongst the judges with the judgement. That itself shows how contentious this judgement is.â€ť
Responding to the question if there will be any change on the ground following the judgement, he reiterated that the implementing part of the judgement will be a great challenge. â€śThat is the reason the AIMPLB told the Constitutional Bench that we are running a reform movement,â€ť said Owaisi.
When asked why he did not believe that triple talaq should be banned as a practice, he said, â€śTriple talaq is a Hanafi school of thoughtâ€”divorce happens if a man utters talaq thrice, which is a Sharia position. But the Muslim personal law board is clear of not advocating this practice. The board is urging to use other manners of it like Hasan and various other methods. We have also said that it is a sin to divorce a wife in such a way. But please also understand that the empirical data shows that amongst the Muslim community, the instances of triple talaq were very miniscule, not even one per cent. This practice has to end and that can happen only through reform in the society,â€ť Owaisi noted.
Responding to the fact that two of the judges had said that personal law cannot be changed while the remaining had called triple talaq unconstitutional, he said, â€śThe majority said that the personal laws cannot be questioned under fundamental right. It is very clear. This majority opinion gives not only protection to the Muslim personal laws but also to personal laws of the tribals, also to personal laws of various small, minority denominations. This is a very important point which the majority judgement was given in todayâ€™s verdict.â€ť
Asked what repercussions the verdict will have on efforts to bring in the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), Owaisi said, â€śIndia is a diverse country, wherein one size will not fit all. How can you have UCC, when women in North East polyandry. How can we have UCC when we have given special protection to the Nagas and Mizos? How can we have UCC when you have given constitutional protection to tribalsâ€¦We have tribal agencies. In Himachal, a non-himachali cannot go and buy an agricultural land or in Uttarakhand. Can you take away all these things? It cannot happen. India does not require UCC. What it requires is pluralism to protect the ethos of this country,â€ť Owaisi argued.
Owaisi said that he hasnâ€™t read the whole judgement, and said that he would soon be making points after reading them.
How do you react to the BJPâ€™s statement that they will oust you from the MP seat by 2019? Owaisi said, â€śIn Democracy anyone can contest against any candidate. And I welcome anyone to contest against me. Because at the end of the day, the work which I have done, my party members are doing, that is more important and in the last municipal elections, the results have shown that the BJP was completely wiped out. Good luck to them,â€ť he said.