A two-Judge Bench of the Delhi High Court refused to entertain the plea of a petitioner who seeked a stay on the FIR’s filed under Section 4 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 which criminalized triple talaq.
A petition was filed in the Delhi HC by Mr. Nadeem Khan seeking direction by the Court to the Commissioner of Police in the territory of GNCTD, to restrain him from filing any further FIR’s under Section 4 of the said Act.
He also contended that such a substantial question of law like this should be determined by a 5-Judge Bench under Article 143 of the Constitution of India which was vehemently rejected by the Hon’ble Court.
The Counsel of the Petitioner, Mr Chandiok argued that Section 3 of the Act already declares Triple Talaq as void and illegal.
It reads as “any pronouncement of talaq by a Muslim husband upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal”.
He submitted that since Section 3 already renders Triple Talaq as void and illegal, it has no effect on a Muslim marriage, therefore there is no requirement for criminalizing the offence under Section 4 of the Act.
Section 4 provides- “any Muslim husband who pronounces talaq referred to in Section 3 upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine”.
Rejecting the contention, the Court said that a provision is presumed valid unless it is proved to be unconstitutional and the mere object of Section 4 is to provide a deterrent against the ancient practice of pronouncing Triple Talaq by a Muslim husband to his wife.
The Court further said that “The purpose of Section 4 appears to be to provide a deterrent against such practice. Merely because triple talaq has been declared to be void and illegal, it does not mean that the legislature could not have made the continuation of such practice an offence.”