Triple Talaq verdict – a historic judgment

Triple Talaq

Recently, the news channels have said much about Triple Talaq and the ongoing tussle about it. So what exactly is it? What is there to fight about it? What is its case history? What has Supreme Court said about it? Here in this post, we will try to discuss all these basic FAQs about Triple Talaq.

What is Triple Talaq?

Triple Talaq is a form of Islamic divorce which has been practiced by Muslims in India. It allowed any Muslim male to legally divorce his wife by stating the word Talaq thrice, in verbal, in written and nowdays through electronic media as well. Further, in this practice, the man need not cite the reason for which he pronounced Triple Talaq and also the wife need not be present at the time of pronouncement.

What is there to fight about?

Apart from the very basic and important fact that this form of Talaq is derogatory for a Muslim woman’s dignity, it is also condemned because it is an instant irrevocable divorce and the marital tie gets broken at once, it violates the right to equality.

What is the case history?

The practice although has always faced opposition from Muslim women but it was only when few of them came out in open and filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against it. The lead petitioner was Shayara Bano, who received talaq from her husband via speed post. Another lady who joined her in filing a petition against Triple Talaq was Ishrat Jahan whose husband divorced her over the phone from Dubai. Few other such women came in front and filed PIL against Triple Talaq calling it unconstitutional and woman belittling, they demanded to ban triple talaq as a legal method of divorcing.

What has Supreme Court said about it?

The Supreme Court of India declared in majority judgment that Muslim practice of Triple Talaq (or instant divorce) by pronouncing the word “talaq” thrice is unconstitutional

After six days of a continuous hearing, earlier in May, Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on several petitions which challenged the constitutional validity of Triple Talaq. During the summer vacation, the judges examined if the practice of Triple Talaq is fundamental for their religion and whether it is a part of a compulsory fundamental right to practice in Islam.

A multi-faith bench was set by Supreme Court for the hearing of this case. The five judges are from major faiths practiced in India – Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism. While three judges outrightly rejected the validity of Triple Talaq law calling it “illegal and sinful” and also stating that it violates constitutional morality, two judges differed, saying that while it may be sinful, it is a matter of faith and that court should not interfere with it.

The Supreme Court of India finally concluded that “In view of the different opinions recorded, by a majority of 3:2 the practice of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ – triple talaq is set aside”. For now, Supreme Court has barred it for 6 months only and has asked the govt. to bring legislation for the same.

It indeed is a historic judgment towards Women Empowerment.