By a majority verdict on Tuesday, the Supreme Court set aside the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims, ruling that the practice was ‘void and invalid’. The apex court observed that triple talaq was against the basic tenets of Quran. A five-judge constitution bench said in a 395-page order said: “In view of the different opinions recorded by a majority of 3:2, the practice of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ – triple talaq is set aside.”
While Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were in favour of putting on hold for six months the practice of triple talaq, Justices R F Nariman, Kurian Joseph, and U U Lalit held it as violative of the Constitution. The majority verdict, however, observed that any practice, including triple talaq, which is against the tenets of Quran is unacceptable.
Meanwhile, the government will issue an advisory to states to keep a watch on situation after the Supreme Court verdict on triple talaq and take appropriate action, said the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Practice of divorce through triple talaq is manifestly arbitrary
The three judges said the practice of divorce through triple talaq is manifestly arbitrary and violative of the Constitution, adding that it must be struck down. The verdict given by CJI Khehar and Justice Nazeer, which favoured keeping on hold the practise of triple talaq for six months, urged the political parties to set aside their differences and aid the Centre in coming out with a legislation. If the Centre does nit bring in a law within six months, said the judges in the minority verdict, then its injunction on triple talaq will continue.
In their minority verdict, CJI Khehar and Justice Nazeer expressed hope that the Centre’s legislation will take into account the concerns of Muslim bodies and the Sharia law. The bench, which consisted of judges from different religious communities – Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim – had heard seven pleas. This included five separate petitions filed by Muslim women challenging the prevalent practice of ‘triple talaq’ in the community.
Petitioners claimed triple talaq was unconstitutional
Claiming that the practice of ‘triple talaq’ was unconstitutional, the five petitions filed by Muslim women had challenged the practice in which the husband pronounces ‘talaq’ thrice in one go, sometimes even by phone or a text message, to get a divorce.
SC says triple talaq ‘not a desirable’ form of dissolution of marriage among Muslims
The apex court, during the hearing, observed that the practice of ‘triple talaq’ was the “worst” and “not a desirable” form of dissolution of marriage among Muslims. Meanwhile, the Centre had termed all the three forms of divorce among the Muslim community –- talaq-e-biddat, talaq hasan and talaq ahsan, as “unilateral” and “extra-judicial”.
The Centre contended that all personal laws must be in confirmity with the Constitution and rights of marriage, divorce, property and succession has to be treated in the same class. It further added that ‘triple talaq’ is neither integral to Islam, nor a “majority versus minority” issue but rather an “intra-community tussle” between Muslim men and deprived women.
Muslim women say they feel victorious and protected by SC verdict on triple talaq
Farah Faiz, Zakia Suman, Noorjehan Niaz and the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) either described the verdict as a “moment of big victory,” “big relief” or as “half the battle won.” President of Rashtrawadi Muslim Mahila Sangh Farah Faiz said in a statement to news agency PTI: “The court has given a direction to the government to frame a law. We have won half the battle. We will be victorious in the true sense only once the law is framed so as to make this practice punishable. There is no remedy for women against the practice till a law is framed.”
Advocate Chandra Rajan, who represented the AIMWPLB, said to PTI, “It is a monumental, landmark verdict and the Supreme Court could not give more to the Muslim women. The court has protected every Muslim woman. After six months, a law will be in place and we are very happy about it.”
Meanwhile, Noorjehan Niaz of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) also expressed relief over the Supreme Court verdict. “Now, Muslim women will be able to enjoy their fundamental rights and have a codified law that will guarantee them their fundamental rights. Just like the Hindu personal law which has legal backing, the law for muslims should have the same,” PTI quoted Niaz as saying.
PM Modi hails verdict as ‘historic’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the apex court judgment on triple talaq as “historic” and said it grants equality to Muslim women. He said the verdict will serve as a powerful measure for women empowerment. “Judgement of the Hon’ble SC on Triple Talaq is historic. It grants equality to Muslim women and is a powerful measure for women empowerment,” PM Modi tweeted.
BJP President Amit Shah described the verdict as the ‘beginning of a new epoch for women’
Describing the judgment as the “beginning of a new epoch for women to live with self-respect”, BJP President Amit Shah welcomed the verdict. In a statement to the media, Shah said: “The Supreme Court has given a historic decision. This verdict has given the right to crores of women to live with equality and dignity.”
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says triple talaq verdict is a great victory
SC judgment on triple talaq is great victory and a welcome step, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Jaitley hoped that after apex court judgment, aberrations in personal laws which infringe constitutional guarantees can be rectified.
Congress leader Salman Khurshid says its a good decision
Congress leader Salman Khurshid welcomed the judgment, saying “it is a good decision”. He, however, said the reasoning behind the decision was as important as the decision itself and one should see it before coming to any conclusion.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath terms SC verdict on triple talaq a “welcome step”
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath said, “It would be great had it (decision of SC bench) been on consensus. This is start of justice for women. Soon further action will be taken in this regard”. “You cannot deprive anyone from justice for long. This is a milestone for women empowerment”, he added.
AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi
“We have to respect the judgement. It is going to be a great Herculean task to implement this on ground.”
UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh
“The Supreme Court’s decision is historic. India is a secular country, but its definition was distorted on religious grounds. Now, the Supreme Court has termed triple talaq as unconstitutional.”
AIMPLB to chalk out future action in Bhopal meeting
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) will chalk out its future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court’s verdict on triple talaq in its working committee meeting slated on September 10 in Bhopal, an
official of the body said.
The meeting was convened earlier and its agenda was issued yesterday, member of the Board’s working committee
Zafaryab Jilani said. “The working committee meeting in Bhopal on September 10 will take a decision on the future course of action on today’s Supreme Court verdict after studying it in detail,” he said.