Supreme court bars triple talaq, asks parliament to make a law

August 22, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

New Delhi, August 22, 2017: Triple talaq, the controversial Muslim divorce law that allows men to leave their wives immediately by uttering “talaq” (divorce) thrice, has been banned by the Supreme Court, which Tuesday called it illegal, retrograde and unworthy.

A panel of five judges said that triple talaq “is not integral to religious practice and violates constitutional morality”.

The court called triple talaq “bad in law” and said: “We hope the legislature will consider and take into account Muslim Personal Law while making legislation. All parties must keep their politics away and decide this.”

Referring to the abolition of the practice in Islamic countries, the court questioned, “Why can’t independent India get rid of it?”

Triple talaq is legal for Muslims according to the constitution, but several Muslim women who have been divorced, including by Skype and on WhatsApp, had challenged the 1400-year-old practice.

Five judges of different faiths – Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice S Abdul Nazeer – heard the case over five days from May 12 to May 18.

Two of the five judges who differed said while triple talaq “may be sinful”, the court can’t interfere in personal laws that are considered a fundamental right by the constitution.

During the arguments, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board described the divorce practice as “horrendous”, “sinful” and “undesirable” with no sanction of the Quran and the Shariat. However, India’s largest Muslim body had also cautioned that “testing the validity of customs and practices was a slippery slope”.

The government had backed the petitioners, declaring triple talaq unconstitutional, and derogatory and discriminatory for women. But it had argued that the court should first pronounce its decision on the constitutional validity of triple talaq, only then it would bring a law.

– ndtv

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