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Triple talaq: Supreme Court likely to pronounce judgment on Muslim divorce practice today

Divorce in Islam: The hearing in the case started in May this year when the country’s top judges decided to forgo their summer break for a day-to-day hearing that lasted six days.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2017 10:19 IST
Ashok Bagriya
Ashok Bagriya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Triple talaq,Muslim divorce,Supreme Court
(PTI File Photo)

The Supreme Court will on Tuesday pronounce judgment on the controversial Muslim divorce practice of triple talaq.

Uttarakhand resident Shayra Bano approached the top court in 2015 after her husband of 15 years sent her a letter with word talaq written thrice, divorcing her.

The custom of men uttering the word talaq thrice in a go to end the marriage discriminated against women, she told the court, demanding scrapping of the divorce ritual practised by Sunni Muslims.

Subsequently, several women and organisations petitioned the court to declare the practice unconstitutional, saying men were pronouncing talaq even through emails and WhatsApp messages.

The hearing in the case started in May this year when the country’s top judges decided to forgo their summer break for a day-to-day hearing that lasted six days.

The Muslim personal law board has opposed “judicial interference” in matters of Muslim faith. The government says triple talaq should go as it violates the constitution and strips women of dignity.

Here are some of their arguments:

All India Muslim personal law board

1 Personal laws cannot be challenged for violating fundamental rights nor can they be re-written in the name of social reform.

2 The Constitution only envisages a uniform civil code and that too as a directive principle of state policy which is not enforceable.

3 Triple talaq is protected by the right to religious freedom and courts cannot supplant their interpretations over the text of scriptures.

4 Muslim Personal Law provides for the practices to be followed on the issues of marriage, divorce and maintenance and these are based on scriptures

5 Sharia grants men the right to divorce because they have greater power of decision making and were emotionally more stable.

6 In case of a discord, divorce is a better option available to a Muslim man than him resorting to “criminal ways of getting rid of her (wife) by murdering her”.

7 Triple talaq is being practised for 1,400 years and is a matter of faith just like Ram Lalla’s birthplace is for Hindus.

The government

1 Gender equality is part of the basic structure of the Constitution and is non-negotiable.

2 Any practice by which women are left socially, financially or emotionally vulnerable or subject to the whims men is incompatible with the Constitution.

3 Even theocratic states have undergone reforms, reinforcing that the practice cannot be considered an integral part of Islam.

4 No undesirable practice can be elevated to the status of an essential religious practice.

5 Almost 90 million Muslim women will be affected by this judgment.

6 The government will bring in a divorce law for Muslims to fill a legal gap if triple talaq, which is now the only way men from the community can end a marriage, is struck down.

First Published: Aug 22, 2017 07:34 IST