HC Begins Hearing Plea On Talaaq Ruling

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Shabnum Lone Throws Weight Behind Justice Masoodi’s Verdit, To Appear For Bilquees
Observer News Service
Srinagar, Nov 12: Even as the High Court on Monday began hearing a petition over its ruling on the sensitive talaaq issue, the case took a dramatic turn as Supreme Court lawyer and daughter of a top slain Hurriyat leader, Shabnum Lone, announced to throw her legal skills behind Bilquees Banu whose alimony plea is at the root of the controversy.

Justice (retd) Basheer Ahmad Kirmani, accompanied by Bar Association president Zaffar Qureshi, argued his own petition to review the HC ruling which held that a husband’s right to pronounce talaaq was not absolute – a verdict that has raised the hackles of ulama and religious groups over “interference in religious matters.”

Advocate Qureshi, appearing for the Jama’at-e-Ahl-e-Hadees, sought to make the point again during today’s hearing, arguing that religious matters did not come into the purview of courts.

Justice Kirmani sought to point out flaws in the HC ruling, but hastened to add that his case was nothing personal against Justice Hasnain Masoodi who had pronounced the verdict.

The proceedings took an unexpected turn when advocate Shabnum Lone, the daughter of slain Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Lone, rose in defence of the HC ruling, describing it as a landmark judgement, and said that she would argue the case in favour of Bilquees Banu.

Talking to the media, Lone said that she had objected only on two points – the right of Justice Kirmani to argue the case being one.

“According to legal norms, Justice Kirmani cannot plead the case, as it is binding on all retired judges not to appear against a court ruling,” she said.

“Secondly, the case of the husband he cited is an insult to womanhood, because the person in question was driven insane by the extortion his divorced wife indulged in during the case,” she said.

“To cite this precedent is tantamount to insulting women,” she said.

“This is a sensitive case, therefore, the media should not create hype or unnecessary issues, but exercise caution in reporting,” she said.

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