The Supreme Court in a historic verdict today ruled that divorce among Muslims through the practice of triple talaq was “void, illegal and unconstitutional”. It struck down the validity of instant triple talaq by a majority of 3:2. Two judges ( Justice Nariman and Justice Lalit) set it aside terming it unconstitutional, Justice Joseph set it aside on ground that it is against the teachings of Qur’an. A bench comprising five judges, headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, had reserved its verdict on May 18, six days after the hearing began on May 11.
The five member constitutional bench consists of country’s five seniormost judges, all are from different faiths- Chief Justice J S Khehar (Sikh) and Justices Kurian Joseph (Christian), R F Nariman (Parsi), U U Lalit (Hindu) and Abdul Nazeer (Muslim).
During the hearing, the Supreme Court had described the practice of triple talaq as the “worst”, and “not a desirable” form to dissolve a marriage. Last December, Allahabad High Court too had called the practice “unconstitutional”, adding that a person’s rights cannot be violated in the name of “personal law”.
Read more: SEX RACKET IN THE NAME OF HALALA
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independece Day speech had praised the campaign started by some women against triple talaq. He had said: “I would like to honour those sisters who have been forced to lead a very difficult life due to triple talaq. There is no recourse for them, and such victims of triple talaq have launched a massive movement in the country. They shook the conscience of the intellectual class of the country, the media of the country also helped them and a movement against triple talaq was started in the country.”
What happend in court room?
CJI JS Khehar and Justice Abdul Nazeer backed triple talaq. “Triple talaq was part of Muslim personal law and hence enjoys status of fundamental rights,” said CJI Khehar. The initial confusion about the verdict happened after CJI Khehar, who read his part first, said triple talaq can’t be struck down as unconstitutional and asked Parliament to make law.
Justice Kurian said, “Extremely difficult to agree with CJI that Triple Talaq is integral to practise of Islam” while delivering his verdict. Justice Kurian added that triple talaq was against the tenets of Holy Quran and hence violates Shariat law.
Who said What?
Main petitioner, Shayara Bano, said, “I welcome and support the judgment of the apex court. It’s a historic day for Muslim women.”
Former Union Minister Salman Khurshid reacted saying, “What we hoped to happen has now happened, it is a good decision.” He was allowed by the SC to assist it as amicus curiae. During the hearing, he had told the SC that instant triple talaq “cannot be justified or given legal validity”.
Senior cleric Maulana Syed Shahabuddin Salfi Firdausi, who strongly opposed the practice of instant triple talaq welcomed the Supreme Court verdict. “I have always opposed instant triple talaq and termed it as un-Islamic and instrument to oppress women. SC verdict came as per the Qur’an and welcome news for Muslim women.” Maulana Firdausi said.
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