24 August 2017 11:29AM
The Court was hearing numerous petitions by several Women Groups, divorced women, etc. to declare as unconstitutional the practice of Triple Talaq, considering its unfairness on women and the fact that it is not validated or mentioned in the Holy Quran itself. Emphasis was placed on the fact that many other States, including several whose National Religion is Islamic law, have declared the practice of talaq-e-iddat as invalid. The Court went through extensive studies of relevant portions of the Quran, earlier decisions of various High Courts, and the interpretations of Quran verses by imminent scholars. The decision was made at a 3:2 majority, with Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman and UU Lalit holding that the practice is not an integral part of Islam and is against the tenets of Quran; while Justice Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer holding that the practice must be stalled for 6 Months during which the Parliament must come up with a legislation on the matter.
The decision would mean that the derogatory practice of instant talaq by which the husband could pronounce talaq three times in one go and the marriage stood dissolved irrevocably, is no longer valid in the eyes of law. The system of such immediate pronouncement of divorce is not valid in all communities of Muslims, and many Schools like the Shia School denounce the same. Triple Talaq is practiced by the members of the Hanafi sect of Sunni Muslims, who are of high population in India, resulting that such instances and subsequent controversies on a higher scale. The AIMPLB (All India Muslim Personal Law Board) had vehemently opposed the intervention of Courts into religious matters, contending that these fall within the purview of the right to religion, and the State or Courts must not interfere. However, the question of social inequality faced by married Muslim women solely due to their religious identity is a stark violation of their Fundamental Rights, and it is high time that all inequalities prevalent in the society on the basis of religious and cultural identities be done away with.
The first petition of the consolidated cases was filed by a woman who had been abruptly divorced by her husband of 15 years by way of a sudden pronouncement of talaq, leaving her a with no say in the same. Out of the three different forms of talaq, namely talaq-e-ahsan, talaq-e-hasan and talaq-e-biddat, the last one also known as triple talaq, is the one infamous for its irrevocable nature and unreasonable application. The same has now been incapacitated by being declared void, and is hoped to take women rights one step forward in our predominantly patriarchal society.
What is yet to be seen is how the Centre will formulate a law on the matter to bring it within the purview of codified legislation, settling the matter with a more permanent solution.
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