In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court today termed triple talaq unconstitutional and striked it down triple by 3-2 majority. A five judge constitutional bench by a 3:2 majority judgement said there is no constitutional protection for triple talaq. Justices Kurien Joseph, Rohinton Fali Nariman and Udey Umesh Lalit held that triple talaq is not integral to Islam, is banned in law and lacks approval of the Shariat. However, Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice S. Abdul Nazir, in a minority judgment, said triple talaq is integral to Islamic practices and enjoys constitutional protection. Khehar in his judgement urged parliament to pass a law to deal with the issue. He, however, injuncted Muslim men from pronouncing instant triple talaq for next six months within which he implored the political parties to shed their difference and enact a law.
7 key facts related to case:
1. The bench, made up of judges from different religious communities -- Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim, had heard seven pleas, including five separate petitions filed by Muslim women challenging the prevalent practice of 'triple talaq' in the community.
2. The Muslim women, who had filed the petitions, challenged the practice of 'triple talaq' in which the husband pronounces 'talaq' thrice in one go, sometimes even by phone or a text message, to get a divorce.
3. During the hearing, the apex court had observed that the practice of 'triple talaq' was the "worst" and "not a desirable" form of dissolution of marriage among Muslims, even though there were schools of thought which called it "legal".
4. It was argued that triple talaq was a discrimination on the ground of sex and this practice was abhorrent to the tenets of holy Quran and no amount of advocacy can save this "sinful" practice which is contrary to constitutional tenets.
5. The Centre had told the bench that it will come out with a law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if 'triple talaq' is held invalid and unconstitutional by the apex court.
6. The government had termed all the three forms of divorce among the Muslim community - talaq-e-biddat, talaq hasan and talaq ahsan, as "unilateral" and "extra-judicial".
7. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for All India Muslim Personal Law Board
(AIMPLB), had equated the issue of 'triple talaq' with the belief that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya and these were matters of faith which cannot be tested on grounds of constitutional morality.
A new law required to regulate marriage and divorce among the Muslim community. The government termed all the three forms of divorce among the Muslim community - talaq-e-biddat, talaq has an and talaq ahsan, as "unilateral" and "extra-judicial". The issues of Muslim marriage and divorce were separated from religion in Shariat Act of 1937 itself and have been codified as personal law under Section 2 of the Act. The apex court has to test them on the touch-stone of the fundamental rights of gender equality, justice, dignity, gender discrimination and human rights under constitutional provisions, including Articles 14, 15, 21 and 51A. When half the population of a particular community is not empowered, no equal opportunity is given, they are devoid of gender equality, then it does not pass the test of constitutional morality.
Arguments of All India Muslim Personal Law Board
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board
(AIMPLB) said that it would issue an advisory to 'Qazis' to tell bridegrooms that they will not resort to triple talaq to annul their marriage. It asserted that Muslims have the "constitutional" right to follow their personal law. "We will not tolerate any interference in the Shariat laws, and claimed that majority of the Muslims in the country do not want any change in their personal law," it said.