The Supreme Court in a landmark decision today banned the controversial Islamic divorce practice of “triple talaq" that allowed Muslim men to leave their wives immediately by pronouncing the word talaq thrice. The practice had gone to an extent of divorce on Skype, Whatsapp, and other social media platforms. Citing it to be unconstitutional i.e violative of Muslim women’s fundamental rights, the practice has been declared illegal for a period of 6 months, until government forms a new law on the same.
With a majority of 3:2, it was held that triple talaq in India "is not integral to religious practice and violates constitutional morality". The judges in favor of a new law wanted the government to take into account the concerns of some Muslim organizations who are critical of any attempts to meddle with religious laws.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a non-governmental body which oversees the application of Muslim personal law, opposes any ban on triple talaq and argues this is a religious matter and not for the courts.
It is an established fact that several Islamic countries including Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, etc., have done away with the inhuman practice of instant divorce. The bench iterated that it should be abolished in India.
"We told the court that the practice has no basis in the law or in the Koran," said Balaji Srinivasan, a lawyer for Shayara Bano whose husband split from her by writing "talaq" three times on a piece of paper.
The BJP has long pushed for a uniform civil code to be enforced which would end the reach of different religious laws in civil issues, sanctioned originally to protect the independence of different faiths.
MyAdvo recently held a public debate on the constitutionality of triple talaq on their Facebook page. Majority of the participants were of the view that the practice of triple talaq is grossly inhumane and violates not just the law but the basic tenets of Islam.
The view of the general public and that of the highest judiciary in India were concurrent. While some voiced a more psychological solution for the issue by stating that it’s the mindset of the people that need to be fixed more than the law, some strongly stated that the practice needs to be done away with immediate effect. The courts must consider the plight of divorced women who are at the mercy of their husband’s mood and ego, which decides their future.
People questioned the origin of triple talaq during the debate session. Oppression of women in the name of religion was highly condemned during the discussion. Some questioned fragility of the sacred institution of marriage that could be broken by uttering a word thrice.
The latest judgment of the Supreme Court has led a wave of contentment amongst the masses and has surely restored their faith in the justice delivery mechanism of India.
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