Triple Talaq: Justice to Fairer Sex

What is instant triple talaq?

The ramifications of the Supreme Court's verdict on Tuesday declaring triple talaq as unconstitutional will have a bearing on all pending cases in different courts where Muslim women have challenged divorce given to them under "talaq-ebiddat (instant divorce)" and their marital status is likely to be restored. Ms Bano, who suffered a nervous breakdown after her divorce, said it was a "historic occasion" for Muslim women. "It is high time that Muslim leaders and the so-called "secular" parties paid attention to real serious issues like educational inequality, discrimination in jobs and housing, and framing innocent Muslim youth with terror charges", it said.

The controversial practice known as instant triple talaq - in which a man tells a woman "I divorce you" three times in succession - is observed in only a handful of countries, including Saudi Arabia. But it can unequivocally be said that they must have breathed a sigh of relief with the practice having been held contrary to the Indian Constitution.

"The BJP is trying to utilise the arguments against triple talaq as grounds for imposing a uniform civil code", an editorial in the CPI-M journal People's Democracy said. "What is banned in theology can not be good in law", he observed.

The issue was whether talaq-e-biddat was violative of the fundamental and human rights of gender equality and dignity of Muslim women. The judgement was on the basis of petitions filed by aggrieved women who were victims of injustice. He said that Islam can not have any room to dictate to any person and the Quran says that killing an innocent person was like killing the entire humanity.

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On October 16, 2015, the Supreme Court questioned if Muslim personal law practices of marriage and divorce reduce women to mere chattels. Though the Supreme Court has criticised it in the past and high courts have held it illegal, it is only now that a final judicial view has been taken on it. Most Islamic countries do not follow the practice. Citing the current scenario where Muslim women are protesting against instant triple talaq, Grover, who was appearing for Zakia Suman, cofounder of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, questioned the AIMPLB's claim that they were discouraging the practice of triple talaq among Muslims.

That is the reason why it told the court on the last day of arguments that it had made a decision to issue an advisory to qazis (Islamic judges) to give an option to all Muslim women to opt out of instant triple talaq before giving their consent for marriage. Although many Muslims around the globe see instant divorce as unethical, it has been in use in India.

"To escape legal liability, a man may resort to abandoning his wife instead of divorcing, or he may even deny the marriage".

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