The Supreme Court of India on 22 August, 2017 banned triple talaq or instant divorce practiced by various Muslim communities saying it is unconstitutional. Triple Talaq is a most controversial law that allowed Muslim men to end their marriage by uttering “TALAQ TALAQ TALAQ”. It is widespread among India’s Muslim Community majority of whom follows Hanafi Islamic School of Law. According to them a women can seek divorce under what is called ‘Khula’ while the husband can end the marriage by pronouncing talaq in thrice.
The Supreme Court of India in Shayara Bano vs. Union of India & Others declared triple talaq as unconstitutional by 3:2 majorities. The judgment was delivered by five judges bench i.e.Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice UU Lalit, Justice RF Nariman, Justice Abdul Nazeer and Chief Justice Khehar Singh. Justice Nariman and Justice Lalit set triple talaq as unconstitutional, Justice Joseph set it aside on the ground of that it is against the teachings of Quran. While Chief Justice Khehar Singh and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were in favour of putting on hold for six months the practice of triple talaq and ask government to come out with a law in this regard.
After six days of continuous hearing the constitutional bench had reserved its verdict on several petitions which challenging the constitutional validity of triple talaq. Apart from petitions filed by Shayara Bano, Afreen Rahman, Ishrat Jahan, Gulshan Parveen and Farha Faiz the bench also refer the October 2015 references from the bench of Justice Anil R Dave and Adarsh Kumar Goelwho while dealing with Muslim Divorce cases. During the summer vacation Judges had examined the whether the practice of triple talaq among Muslim is fundamental to their religion or not. The Supreme Court set aside triple talaq saying the it was violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. After hearing the whole pleas filed by Muslim women who had challenged the practice of instant triple talaq where a man divorces his wife by uttering talaq thrice the bench considering the issue very carefully. The Supreme Court of India held that the practice of triple talaq is unconstitutional by 3:2 majority. “In view of different opinions recorded, by majority of 3:2 the practice of talaq-e-biddat- triple talaq set aside”.
After this historic decision many Muslim communities welcome the judgment and termed as “one of the best reforms” in the country after independence. Patronin-in-chief of Muslim Rashtriya Manch, Indresh Kumar termed this judgment historic. He said “It had shunted the mouth of Islamic fundamentalist” and proper law should be framed for it. Union Minister of India Arun jaitley said “Supreme Court’s judgment is victory for all who believed personal law must also be progressive and complainant with constitutional guarantees.” Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi compared the Supreme Court judgment on triple talaq to Sati Pratha ban on 1829 in British India. President of All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul said “We have to respect the judgment of Supreme Court. It is going to be a great Herculean task to implement this ground.”
The Supreme Court of India had given a historic judgment which gives the right to crores of women to live with equality and dignity. We have to salute the courageousness and fearlessness of women whom fight against triple talaq.