New Delhi: A plea challenging Muslim practices like polygamy and 'triple talaq' has come up before the Supreme Court, which on Monday asked the government to file the report of a committee, set up during UPA rule to assess the personal laws relating to marriage, divorce, custody, inheritance and succession.
A bench, comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice UU Lalit asked Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, to file within six weeks the panel's report which was given to the Ministry of Women and Child Development last year.
The bench, which has also taken suo motu cognisance of issues relating to the quest for equality of Muslim women, asked the government to reply to the plea of one Shayara Bano, challenging the constitutionality of Muslim practices of polygamy, triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat) and nikah halala.
The court also allowed All India Muslim Personal Law Board to become a party in the two matters on personal law.
During the brief hearing, senior advocate Amit Singh Chadha and lawyer Balaji Srinivasan, counsel for Bano, said a high-level committee was set up by the government to assess the functioning of Muslim personal laws.
The report, submitted in 2015 to the Ministry, was titled "Women and the law: An assessment of family laws with focus on laws relating to marriage, divorce, custody, inheritance and succession", they said.
The panel had recommended a ban on various practices that are purportedly Islamic but require reform, including the practice of talaq-e-bidat and polygamy, the lawyers said.
The bench, which asked the apex court registry to provide the records of the suo motu petition to Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, has now fixed the matter after six weeks.
Earlier, the court had sought the government's response on Bano's plea challenging the validity of Muslim practices like polygamy and triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat).
Talaq-e bidat denotes divorce of the wife by a Muslim man by pronouncing 'talaq' more than once in a single 'tuhr' (the period between two menstruations), or in a tuhr after coitus, or pronouncing an irrevocable instantaneous divorce at one go (unilateral triple-talaq).