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Upendra Bharti | HENB | New Delhi | Aug 22, 2017:: Supreme Court of India paved the way to free India out of the arbitrary, inhumane and forced divorce of Triple Talaq to rescue the Muslim women from the scourge of Sharia Law.
Triple talaq, the controversial Muslim divorce law that allows men to leave their wives immediately by uttering “talaq” (divorce) thrice, has been banned by the Supreme Court, which today called it illegal, retrograde and unworthy. Calling the practice “bad in law”, a constitution bench of five judges said that triple talaq “is not integral to religious practice and violates constitutional morality”.
Triple talaq is legal for Muslims according to the constitution, but several Muslim women who have been divorced, including by Skype and on WhatsApp, had challenged the 1400-year-old practice.
Five judges of different faiths – Chief Justice JS Khehar, Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer – heard the case over five days from May 12 to May 18.
“Triple talaq may be a permissible practice but it retrograde and unworthy. Since triple talaq is instant it is irrevocable and the marital tie gets broken, it violates the right to equality,” said the court.
Two judges – including the Chief Justice – differed and said while triple talaq “may be sinful”, the court can’t interfere in personal laws that are considered a fundamental right by the constitution.
During the arguments, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board described the divorce practice as “horrendous”, “sinful” and “undesirable” with no sanction of the Quran and the Shariat. However, India’s largest Muslim body had also cautioned that “testing the validity of customs and practices was a slippery slope”.
But, Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were in favour of putting on hold for six months the practice of triple talaq, Justices R F Nariman, Kurian Joseph, and U U Lalit held it as violative of the Constitution. The majority verdict, however, observed that any practice, including triple talaq, which is against the tenets of Quran is unacceptable.
Meanwhile, the government will issue an advisory to states to keep a watch on situation after the Supreme Court verdict on triple talaq and take appropriate action, said the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The government had backed the petitioners, declaring triple talaq unconstitutional, and derogatory and discriminatory for women. But it had argued that the court should first pronounce its decision on the constitutional validity of triple talaq, only then it would bring a law.
“This is a historic day for Muslim women. No Muslim women will have to go through the harassment that I suffered,” Shayara Bano, a 35-year-old divorced Muslim woman whose petition two years ago helped end instant talaq, told Hindustan Times.
“I am happy that my 11-year-old daughter will not have to face such regressive practice when she grows up.”
Experts say the really it is difficult to stop Triple Talaq in India, unless the Islamic Personal Law Boards and Sharia (Kangaroo) Courts are restricted in the country.
__Agency inputs. Courtesy to all link sources used above including NDTV.