A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, which had issued notices to the Attorney General and National Legal Services Authority on the PIL, directed the Centre and the organisation to file reply within six weeks.

In its plea, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has contended that the apex court cannot examine the constitutional validity of the practices of marriage, divorce and maintenance in Muslim personal law on the ground that provisions of personal laws cannot be challenged by the reason of fundamental rights.

"Personal laws do not derive their validity on the ground that they have been passed or made by a legislature or other competent authority. The foundational sources of personal law are their respective scriptural texts. The Mohammedan Law is founded essentially on the Holy Koran and thus it cannot fall within the purview of the expression 'laws in force' as mentioned in Article 13 of the Constitution of India, and hence its validity cannot be tested on a challenge based on Part III of the Constitution", it said.

 

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