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Triple talaq verdict: Here’s how the case progressed

A Supreme Court bench pronounced its verdict on the validity of triple talaq that has been in practice for hundreds of years but is illegal in many Islamic countries.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2017 13:29 IST
PTI, New Delhi
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SC is likely to deliver its verdict on constitutional validity of triple talaq, in New Delhi.(PTI File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down the practice of instant triple talaq (Talaq-e-Biddat), saying it was arbitrary and against the tenets of Islam.

A 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.

Muslim women, who had filed the petitions, challenged the practice of triple talaq in which the husband can divorce a woman by pronouncing ‘talaq’ thrice, sometimes even by phone or a text message. The petitioners claim the practice is unconstitutional.

Here’s a timeline of the case:

October 16, 2015: SC bench asks Chief Justice of India to set up a bench to examine if Muslim women face gender discrimination in cases of divorce while dealing with a case of Hindu succession.

February 5, 2016: SC asks attorney general Mukul Rohatgi to assist it on the pleas challenging constitutional validity of ‘triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy.

March 28, 2016: SC asks Centre to file a copy of the report of a high-level panel on ‘women and the law: An assessment of family laws with focus on laws relating to marriage, divorce, custody, inheritance and succession’.

June 29, 2016: SC says triple talaq among the Muslims will be tested on “touchstone of constitutional framework”.

October 7, 2016: For the first time in India’s constitutional history, Centre opposes in SC these practices and favours a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.

December 9, 2016: The Allahabad high court stops short of calling the practice of triple talaq under Muslim law unconstitutional but observed that personal laws can’t override constitutionally guaranteed rights of individuals.

February 16, 2016: SC says a five-judge constitution bench will be set up to hear and decide the challenge on ‘triple talaq’, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy.

March 27, 2017: All India Muslim Personal Law Board tells SC that these pleas were not maintainable as the issues fall outside judiciary’s realm.

April 11, 2017: The Centre has told the SC that the practices of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy impact the social status and dignity of Muslim women and deny them fundamental rights.

April 16, 2017: Raising the ‘triple talaq’ issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says justice should be done to Muslim women.

April 17, 2016: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath says politicians maintaining silence on the issue of triple talaq are equally responsible as those practising it.

April 18, 2017: Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi says triple talaq should not be allowed as women have as much right as men and cannot be treated on a lower pedestal.

April 21, 2017: The Delhi high court dismisses a plea seeking to stop the practice of triple talaq on Hindu women married to Muslim men.

April 29, 2017: The opposition charges PM Modi with politicising the triple talaq issue for electoral mileage even as BJP minister Swami Prasad Maurya says Muslim men use it to change wives and satisfy ‘lust’.

May 3, 2017: SC allows Salman Khurshid as amicus curiae in hearing of pleas challenging constitutional validity of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy.

March 30, 2017: SC says these issues are “very important” and involve “sentiments” and says a constitution bench would start hearing the matter from May 11.

May 11, 2017: SC says it will determine if triple talaq is in line with the Constitution and fundamental to Islam.

May 12, 2017: SC says the practice of triple talaq is the “worst” and “not desirable” form of dissolution of marriages among Muslims, even though there were schools of thought that termed it as “legal”.

May 15, 2017: Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi tells the Supreme Court that the Centre will bring in a new law to regulate and marriage divorce among Muslims if the practice of triple talaq is declared unconstitutional.

May 16, 2017: All India Muslim Personal Law Board says triple talaq is a 1,400-year-old practice, and constitutional morality and equity cannot arise when a matter of faith is concerned.

May 17, 2017: SC asks the All India Muslim Personal Law Board whether a woman can be given an option of saying ‘no’ to triple talaq at the time of execution of nikahnama (Islamic marriage contract).

May 18, 2017: SC reserves verdict on batch of petitions challenging constitutional validity of triple talaq practice among Muslims.

August 15, 2017: In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praises Muslim women starting a movement against the practice of triple talaq, adding that the entire country supports them.

First Published: Aug 22, 2017 09:10 IST