SC asks parliament to make law after declaring triple talaq unconstitutional


A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down triple talaq, or instant divorce, practice as unconstitutional.

Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer held triple talaq to be part of fundamental right to religion of Muslims and said it was not unconstitutional but Justice Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, and U U Lalit said triple talaq violated the fundamental rights of Muslim women as they are subjected to arbitrary irrevocable divorce through this practice. The verdict was a 3:2 split.

The judges which favoured to keep on hold the practice of triple talaq for six months asked the political parties to set aside their differences and help the Centre in coming out with a legislation.

The judges in the minority verdict said that if the Centre does not bring a law within six months, then its injunction on triple talaq will continue.

It has been a subject of controversy and debates within the country, raising the issues of justice, gender equality, human rights and secularism.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) defended the practice. In April 2017, citing a report prepared by Muslim Mahila Research Kendra in coordination with Shariah Committee for Women, AIMPLB has claimed that Muslims have a lower rate of divorce compared to other religious communities, countering the argument that Muslims have the highest number of divorce in the country due to the practice of Triple Talaq.

What is Triple Talaq?

Triple Talaq (also known as Talaq-e-Mughallazah — Irrevocable divorce) is a form of divorce that is practiced by Muslims in India whereby a Muslim man can legally divorce his wife by pronouncing talaq (the Arabic word for divorce) three times. The pronouncement can be oral or written, or, in recent times, delivered by electronic means such as telephone, SMS, email or social media. The man need not cite any cause for the divorce and the wife need not be present at the time of pronouncement. After a period of iddat, during which it is ascertained whether the wife is pregnant with a child, the divorce becomes irrevocable. 

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