SC Declares Triple Talaq ‘Unconstitutional’, Centre to Legislate Law In 6 Months
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled out the practice of Talaq-e-biddat (Triple Talaq) and termed it “unconstitutional”. The Apex Court put a six-month stay on the practice, directing the Parliament to enact law within the given time period.
CJI JS Khehar in SC: “The five-bench judges headed by CJI J.S. Khehar said during the verdict, “Triple Talaq is important to the Sunnis of Hanafi school, has to be accepted as important to their culture…Triple Talaq does not violate article 25, 14 and 21 of the constitution…Practice being constituent of personal law, it cannot be set aside on ground of constitutional morality by judicial intervention. Legislative intervention needs to be followed in respect of triple talaq.”
“Despite Rashid Ahmed decision by privy council the issues need fresh examination. All parties were unanimous that triple talaq is a heinous practice. It won’t be appropriate for the court to observe whether practice is valid as per hadith due to variations in the school.”
The judges were divided in their opinion in 3:2. The two judges were Justice Nariman and Justice Lalit. Justice Joseph termed it against the teaching of Quran. During three verdict the judges were opined that triple talaq is a part of an “enforceable” fundamental right to practice religion among Muslims and not on the practice of polygamy.
Justice Kurian said, “Extremely difficult to agree with CJI Khehar that Triple Talaq is integral part of Islam.” He added that Triple Talaq was against the tenets of Holy Quran and hence violates Shariat Law.
The much awaited judgment on the controversial debates of Talaq-e-bidat(Triple Talaq) and ‘Nikah Halala’ was likely to be pronounced by the Supreme Court on August 22nd. The bench of five judges submitted their judgment separately. It comprised judges from all five major Indian religions or religious institutions as Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Zoroastrianism and Christianity; Justice Uday Lalit, CJI Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice Abdul Nazeer , Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Kurian Joseph.
The judges were listening to six separate challenged petitions against the unconstitutional practices of Triple Talaq and Nikah Halala, which violate the Article 25 of the Indian constitution. Article 25 of the Indian constitution protects the right of religion but it also comes with great responsibilities- to ensure the public order, health and morality are not compromised.
The court had reserved the verdict on 18th May this year after a six-day continuous hearing on the various pleas filed by Muslim women. The petitioners had challenged the All India Muslim Personal Law Board that the ‘draconian’ law of Triple Talaq in Shariat Law is against the fundamental rights of women, hence must be demolished.
The AIMPLB had argued in the court that the matter of Triple Talaq is a prerequisite of the Shariat Law. The board members also cautioned the court to not interfere in the laws subjected to Islam and Shariat Law. However the court then had dismissed their arguments.
Senior Lawyer Kapil Sibbal for AIMPLB had argued that the issue of Triple Talaq is same as the dogma of Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya and these are matters of faiths cannot be checked on the grounds of constitutional morality. He defended the practice of ‘Triple Talaq’ citing reference from 637AD, around 1400 years ago. But the court referred it as ‘worst’ for the women.
The Centre during the hearing was opined that such practices are against the development of Muslim women which curtail their liberty, gender equality and equal rights in the society. Centre also argued that Triple Talaq has been a tool for discrimination on the basis of sex which is prevalent today. The government had termed all three form of divorce among the Muslim community ‘extra judicial’ and ‘unilateral’.
Today, Triple Talaq is banned in the most of the Islamic countries including Bangladesh, Turkey, Cyprus, Tunisia, Algeria, Iran, Jordan, Indonesia, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, Sudan, Qatar, Brunei and Pakistan.