Supreme Court strikes Triple Talaq by 3:2 majority

Triple Talaq

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other political leaders on Tuesday hailed the Supreme Court's landmark verdict, ruling that divorce among Muslims through the practice of triple talaq was "void, illegal and unconstitutional".

The Centre told the Supreme Court that the practices like "triple talaq" impact the social status and dignity of Muslim women and deny them fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

This was a split verdict, with the Bench chaired by the Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, along with Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Uday Umesh Lalit and Abdul Nazeer.

Under the ruling, the court said the government should frame new divorce legislation to replace the abolished practice of triple talaq.

In 2016, Shayara Bano, a 35-year-old-woman, challenged the practice after her husband of 15 years divorced her instantly in a letter sent to her when she was visiting her parents.

The majority observed that triple talaq violates fundamental rights of a woman as it irrevocably ends the marriage without any scope of reconciliation.

"We hope the legislature will consider and take into account Muslim Personal Law while making legislation".

The National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) also welcomed the verdict as a crucial step towards women's equality and justice as enshrined in the Constitution.

"The Parliament is directed to enact a law".

He also said that the verdict will serve as a powerful measure for women empowerment.

Triple Talaq is practiced by some in the Muslim community to instantly divorce their wives by saying Talaq three times.

"If these personal laws were arbitrary and pernicious traditionally, they must give way to the doctrine of equality and the right to have a dignified life for all citizens". Triple talaq is against the tenets of Quran, and hence, it violates the Sharia.

The Muslim Personal Law Board has strongly opposed these petitions.

The two judges who were in favor of law asked the government to discuss the matter with some Muslim Organizations who interfere with government's constitutional rights to govern such affairs.

Justice Joseph said what can not be true in theology can not be protected by law.

The central government, which sided with the Muslim women petitioners, was represented by former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi and additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by the Chief Justice of India JS Khehar had in May had reserved its verdict following a six-day hearing.

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