A LANDMARK IN INDIAN HISTORY- SUPREME COURT’S JUDGEMENT ON TRIPLE TALAQ
“TRIPLE TALAQ” is a form of divorce that was practiced in India, through which a Muslim man could lawfully divorce his wife by pronouncing talaq (the Arabic word for divorce) three times orally, written or through electronic media like SMS, email or social media.
The husband is not supposed to specify any reason for his move and the wife need not be present during the pronouncement. After a period of iddah (the period of pregnancy or menstruation), the divorce becomes permanent.
The period of “iddah”: https://islamqa.info/en/12667
A divorced woman could not remarry her divorced husband unless she first marries another man, a practice called “Nikah halala“. Until she is remarried she gets the custody of the male toddlers and prepubescent female children. Beyond those restrictions, the children come under the guardianship of the father.
The practice of divorce by triple talaq has already been banned in 22 Muslim-majority countries including Pakistan.
MUSLIMS in INDIA
Islam is the second largest religion in India. 14.2% of the country’s population (near about 189 million people) are Muslim dwellers. The Muslim affairs in India namely marriage, inheritance, divorce and waqf properties are administered by “The Muslim Personal Law”. The following Laws are applicable to Muslims in India(except in the state of Goa):
- Muslim Personal Law Sharia Application Act, 1937
- The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939
- Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986
OPPOSITION ON TRIPLE TALAQ:
Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), a leading campaign for the overhaul and codification of Muslim Personal Law to bring it in line with the tenets of the Quran and the core values of the Indian Constitution. In recent surveys by BMMA, 92.1 per cent of Muslim women supported the abolition of triple talaq, 91.7 per cent opposed polygamy and 83.3 per cent felt that codification of Muslim family law would ensure justice for the women of the community.
The petition against instant divorce was filed two years back by ‘Shayara Bano’ and four other women- Aafreen Rehman, Gulshan Parveen, Ishrat Jahan and Atiya Sabri who were divorced by her husband through letter mentioned talaq thrice. Her children were taken away from her and faced discrimination and threats to her life.
A number of the petitioners have argued that this system violates their fundamental right to equality before the law, to non-discrimination on grounds of sex and to life and liberty. As per Article 25(1) explicitly states that freedom of religion is subject to other fundamental rights.
THE ULTIMATE VERDICT:
There are three kinds of talaq–
Talaq-e-Ahsan where husband pronounces talaq once followed by abstinence of 90 days or three menstrual cycles. If the couple resolves their differences within the period then divorce is revoked.
Talaq-e-Hasan where husband pronounces talaq three times over three months with iddat or abstinence of one month each. If differences are resolved within the stipulated time the divorce is considered revoked. If not then divorce becomes final after the third talaq.
Talaq-e-Biddat is when the husband says talaq in one go and it becomes effective immediately. It is irrevocable the moment it is pronounced.
“On 22nd August 2017, The Supreme Court declared Talaq-e-Biddat as unconstitutional and violation of human rights.”
3 out of 5 judges-Justices Rohinton Nariman, Uday Lalit, and Joseph Kurien said the practice of instant divorce was a violation of women rights and gave encouragement to the domestic violation and gender discrimination. They mentioned that this divorce system has nothing to do with the Quranic prescriptions.
Justice Abdul Nazeer and Chief Justice JS Khehar upheld the validity of triple divorce.
Politicians, celebrities, neighboring nations, youths, and the general public masses had different opinions on this verdict. Some gave positive feedback whereas some were against it.
According to news sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says: “Judgment of the Hon’ble SC on Triple Talaq is historic. It grants equality to Muslim women and is a powerful measure for women empowerment.”
No matter whether it is single divorce or triple divorce, the outcomes will be same. The motto of the verdict is to abolish the practice of Muslim men unilaterally divorcing their wives without following the correct procedure as mentioned in the Quran.