Supreme Court declears triple talaq as Invalid by 3:2 majority, calls it unconstitutional

NEW DELHI, August 22 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down the Triple Talaq practice as ‘unconstitutional’ by a 3:2 majority.

The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S. Khehar, deciding on the verdict, was seemingly split on the legality of the practice.

Justice Nariman, Justice Lalit and Justice Kurien opposed the view of Justice Nazir and Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar and dubbed the practice of Triple Talaq as unconstitutional and unislamic.

The Supreme Court has further asked the Union Government to formulate a new legislation within six months.

The apex court reportedly referred to the abolition of triple talaq in the Islamic countries and asked “why can’t independent India get rid of it.”

The decision came soon after the apex court resumed the hearing on the matter on Tuesday morning.

CJI Khehar, while pronouncing the judgement, however, upheld the practice and said, “Talaq-e-biddat is not violative of articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.”

The CJI, further using his power under Article 142, directed the Union of India to form a proper legislature regarding ‘talaq-e-iddat.’

CJI Khehar said that all parties must decide keeping politics aside.

The constitution bench had reserved its verdict on May 18 after a six-day marathon hearing.

During the hearing, the Centre had assured the apex court that it would come out with a law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if triple talaq is upheld as invalid.

“The government will come out with law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if court holds triple talaq as invalid,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the bench.

Rohatgi also conveyed to the apex court bench that triple talaq violates Muslim women’s right to equality within the community, and also within the country

Earlier in the hearing, the apex court refused to hear all the three cases of polygamy, nikah and halala at once, saying it will focus on one matter at a time.

The Attorney General and top law officers representing the Central government told the five judge Constitution bench that apex court should hear other cases also, besides Triple Talaq.

However, the top court said that they have limited time, so all the matters could not be covered at present.

The Centre, earlier on May 11, told the apex court that it opposes the triple talaq practice and wants to fight for women equality and gender justice.

Various petitioners had knocked the doors of the apex court seeking to strike down triple talaq.

While on May 22, the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court and said it would advise the Qazis to tell the brides and grooms to not resort to “triple talaq in one sitting.”

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told the apex court that marriage in the Muslim community is a contract and in order to protect their interests, they can put special emphasis on certain clauses in ‘nikahnama’. The board further said that a Muslim woman had every right to pronounce triple talaq in all forms, and also ask for very high ‘mehr’ amount in case of talaq.

The board’s reply came after CJI J.S. Khehar asked AIMPLB counsel Kapil Sibal if it was possible to give bride the right to not accept instant triple talaq.

The board also showed the court a resolution passed on April 14, 2017 which stated triple talaq as a sin and that the community should boycott the person doing such an act. While Sibal earlier said the apex court should not decide or interfere in one’s faith and belief.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the occasion of 71st Independence Day, admired the courage of women who have been suffering due to Triple Talaq, asserting that nation is with them in their struggles.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had earlier described Triple Talaq as a social problem and it would be good if Muslim society itself resolves it.

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