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Triple Talaq and Polygamy not integral to the practices of Islam, says Supreme Court

The government has cited the instances of changes in marriage laws in Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan

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Representational image. Pixabay

October 8, 2016: The Union government on Friday told the Supreme Court that ‘triple talaq’, ‘nikaah halaal’ and polygamy as practised by the Muslims in India were not “integral to the practices of Islam or essential religious practices.”

“The fact that Muslim countries where Islam is the state religion have undergone extensive reforms go to establish that the practice in question cannot be regarded as integral to the practices of Islam or essential religious practices,” argued the government in an affidavit filed on Friday.

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Referring to the changes in the personal law that have already taken place in Islamic countries, the government has cited the instances of changes in marriage laws in Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

“It is noteworthy that even theocratic states have undergone reforms in this area of the law and therefore in a secular republic like India, there is no reason to deny women the right available under the constitution,” it said in its response to top court’s September 5 order asking it spell out its position on the right of Muslim women in matrimonial matters relating to divorce and maintenance, including triple talaq.

An apex court bench of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel had by their October 16, 2015, order, issued the notice to Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and the National Legal Service Authority as it directed the separate listing of a PIL addressing the question of the rights of Muslim women.

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The government said that the question of triple talaq, where husbands can summarily divorce their wives by pronouncing the word ‘talaq’ thrice, ‘nikaah halaal’ under which a divorced couple cannot remarry unless the woman marries again and becomes single again through divorce or death of the second husband, and polygamy needs to be considered in the light of the “principle of non-discrimination, dignity and equality”.

It said that the question is whether triple talaq and polygamy was compatible with contemporary constitutional morality and the principle of gender equality enshrined in the constitution.

Saying that the right of women to human dignity, social esteem and self-worth are important facets of the right to life, the government said that the gender justice is important and any practice by which women are left socially and financially or emotionally vulnerable or subject to whims and caprice of men folk is against gender justice.

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It said that the constitutional right should be given to all irrespective of religion and pointed out thatIndia was a signatory to international covenants which guarantees the right to equality to women.

Personal laws must be examined in light of gender justice and dignity of women and those inconsistent with fundamental rights are void.

“The fundamental question for determination is whether, in a secular democracy, religion can be the reason to deny equal status and dignity, available to women under the constitution,” the government said in its response affidavit. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?