The Supreme Court of India had banned Triple talaq, the muslim divorce law that allows men to abandon their wives immediately by merely uttering the word “talaq” three times. The Apex Court called the controversial practice of triple talaq today as illegal, retrograde and unworthy.
A constitution bench of five judges called the practice as “bad in law”, and said that the practice is not integral to religious practice and opposes constitutional morality”.
According to the constitution, the practice of Triple talaq is legal for Muslims, but the practice has recently been challenged by several Muslim women, who have been divorced, including by Skype and on WhatsApp, had challenged the 1400-year-old practice.
Five judges of different faiths – Chief Justice JS Khehar, Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer – looked into the matter and heard the trial for over five days from May 12 to May 18.
“Triple talaq may be a permissible practice to Muslims but it is regressive and unworthy. Since triple talaqis instant it is irrevocable and the marital tie gets broken, the right to equality gets violated,” said the Supreme Court.
Two judges – including the Chief Justice – disagreed and said while triple talaq “may be sinful”, the court can’t interfere in personal laws that are considered a fundamental right by the constitution.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, during the arguments described the practice of Triple talaq as “horrendous”, “sinful” and “undesirable” with no sanction of the Quran and the Shariat. However, India’s largest Muslim body had also cautioned that “testing the validity of customs and practices was a slippery slope”.
The petitioners who pleaded against the practice have been backed by the government and the government has declared Triple talaq as unconstitutional, and derogatory and biased towards women. But it had argued that the court should first pronounce its decision on the constitutional validity of triple talaq, only then it would bring a law.