Triple Talaq uncovered: All you need to know about Supreme Court verdict

In a historic verdict on Tuesday Supreme Court of India has ruled that triple talaq in one sitting among Muslims was “void, illegal and unconstitutional”. I have tried to uncover Triple Talaq in detail and the reactions that followed after the Supreme Court verdict.

Some sections who were against the ill practice are showing their happiness more than ever and hailed it as a day for gender justice in India and some are terming it as interference in religious freedom guaranteed in section 25 of constitution.

It took more than three months for SC to come up with its 395-page judgment on triple talaq and with 3:2 majority instant triple talaq have been quashed.

What Judges said?

Justice Nariman and Justice Lalit has held that instant irrevocable triple talaq not preceded by the efforts at reconciliation is unconstitutional, as it is contrary to the right to equality, which includes the right against arbitrariness. He also observed that the duties or obligations of a Muslim can be divided into five categories, viz., Farz, which must be obeyed and Wajib, which is slightly less important; Mustahab, or recommendatory; Jaiz, which is permissible, and to which religion is indifferent; Makruh, or unworthy; and finally, Haram, or forbidden. Instant triple talaq, he said, is either in category 3 (permissible) or, probably, in category 4, which is undesirable.


Justice Khehar and Justice Nazeer held that personal law is part of the freedom of religion, which courts are duty-bound to protect. The CJI explicitly said that accepting the petitioner’s prayer to hold triple talaq unconstitutional would amount to negating freedom of religion. He equated triple divorce to fundamental rights. Disagreeing with Justice Nariman, he observed that since the recognition of Muslim Personal Law by the Shariat Act of 1937 does not give it statutory status, and because Muslim Personal Law is not ‘law’ as held by the Supreme Court, the Shariat Act, or triple talaq under it, cannot be held unconstitutional.

Justice Joseph held that the purpose of the 1937 Act was to remove un-Islamic and oppressive customs and usages from Muslim Personal Law, and since triple divorce is not mentioned in the Quran, it is not a part of Sharia — and thus cannot be enforced under the Shariat Act. What is sinful in theology must be held bad in law as well,

Government Stand

In Muslim circle, most of them including prominent scholars are of the view that central government will make a law through legislation within 6 months. But the government on August 22 virtually ruled out the need for a new law on instant triple talaq, which has been rendered as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, indicating that existing laws, including the one dealing with domestic violence, were sufficient.

“The government will consider the issue in a structured manner. A prima facie reading of the judgement makes it clear that the majority (of the five-member bench) has held it (instant triple talaq) as unconstitutional and illegal,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

As per Financial Express report, a senior government functionary explained that a marriage will not be annulled if the husband resorts to instant triple talaq. “After the Supreme Court order, if a husband gives instant triple talaq, it will not be considered valid. His obligation towards the marriage will remain… The wife is also free to drag such a person to police and file a complaint of harassment or domestic violence,” the functionary said, indicating penal provisions are present to check the practice.

Muslim View through Urdu daily

All India Muslim Personal Law in a press release accepted the verdict although next meeting to discuss the SC verdict further is scheduled on September 10.


As per report published today in leading Urdu daily Inquilab, Maulana Syed Arshad Madni, President Jamiat e Ulama-e-Hind has shown his concern and termed it against Sharia law.

Maulana Syed Athar Ali, member AIMPLB said that verdict has two aspects. “One 2 judges including CJI has hailed it part of religion and other 3 judges differs and government is asked to make a law about it.”

Jamiat Ulama Maharashtra President Maulana Mustaqeem Ahsan Azmi said, “Quranic way of talaq is completely different and measures to propogate the same should be taken and it is also true that triple talaq leads to more complexities. SC has directed government to make law about same, now we need to see how and when government takes the lead.”

Maulana Mehmood Khan Daryabadi , General Secretary, All India Ulama Council said, “SC put the ball in government’s court. We all unitedly should push government to make the law in Muslim’s favour and religious faith/belief rights given by constitution should be protected.”

Possible Impact

Arif Mohamamd Khan, Former Union minister and senior lawyer who argued on behalf of petitioners in triple talaq case said, “This verdict will bring about a paradigm shift and I foresee a changed scenario in the days when women will no longer accept instant talaq as a fait accompli. Empowered by the Supreme Court verdict, they will answer and retort back.”


M R Shamshad, Advocate-on-Record in the Supreme Court of India said, “Only talaq pronounced thrice in one sitting has been declared invalid. The other two forms of talaq — talaq hasan and ahsan — can continue to take place without a court decree.”


The order of Supreme Court states “In view of the different opinions recorded, by a majority of 3:2 the practice of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ – triple talaq is set aside.”

  1. This clearly says that just instant triple talaq has been abolished and declared as illegal and unconstitutional and other methods of talaq remain untouched.
  2. SC has not interfered in personal law but upheld the view which has the highest regard as per Qur’an as said by Justice Kurian.
  3. Central government will not bring law through legislation as verdict came clear with majority of 3:2. The suggestion of enacting law by Parliament was made by CJI Khehar and Justice Abdul Nazeer who were in minority and their views are inconsequential.
  4. Muslim leaders and clerics should not spread panic by giving half-true statements.
  5. This is high time for Muslim leaders, clerics and representative organizations to come forward and bring social and cultural reform within community and rise above the sectorial differences and accept Islam in its true sense. “And if you turn away, He will replace you with another people; then they will not be the likes of you.” (Al Qur’an – 47:38)