Triple talaq verdict: Laud SC for coming to the aid of citizens, once again
The Supreme Court observed that what is bad in religion is also bad in law, and put an end to the discriminatory practice of triple talaqeditorials Updated: Aug 22, 2017 18:44 IST
It’s a Red Letter Day for Muslim women and gender justice in India.
The Supreme Court of India has struck down the controversial practice of talaq-e-bidat or instant talaq, which gives men the power to end a marriage by simply uttering “talaq” to their wives three times in succession.
Putting an end to the contentious custom, where Muslim women in recent times have been divorced over messages, phone calls, e-mails and letters, the court said, what is bad in religion is also bad in law and the discriminatory practice needs to end.
However, a minority view of two judges, supported talaq-e-bidat on the grounds that it has been in vogue for the last 1400 years and reforms to ‘personal law’ in India, with reference to socially unacceptable practices should come about only by way of legislative intervention.
This judgment is not just a testament to the grit and determination of Shayara Bano and four other women who decided to the take the issue head on and approach the Supreme Court, but also Muslim groups, especially women, who came out in protest against instant triple talaq. This is the first time in the life of the republic that Muslim women challenged an Islamic practice as violative of their fundamental right.
What is also reassuring is that these women in the last two years have come out openly to talk about their anguish challenged discriminatory and obstructionist elements in Islam.
Besides, efforts of the apex court too need to be lauded – as once again it has risen to the occasion and reasserted its position as protector, enforcer, and guardian of citizens’ rights when governments have failed in their jobs.
This case of Shayara Bano also has striking similarities with the case of Shah Bano — at least as regards the plight of the women —decided by the Supreme Court 32 years back. While the court then also came forward to the aid of Muslim women recognising the right to alimony, the judgment was brought to naught by legislative interference.
However, this time around the judgment suits the political establishment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been very vocal in his support for the Muslim women. On the occasion of 71st Independence Day, Mr Modi admired the courage of women who have been suffering due to triple talaq, asserted that nation is with them in their struggle.
The government had gone to the extent of making a submission in the court that the government will come out with the law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if the court holds triple talaq as invalid.
First Published: Aug 22, 2017 17:21 IST