Triple talaq verdict: Uncertainty and confusion prevailed in Supreme Court till the last minute
As the guessing game continued, the judges emerged from the door that leads to the judges’ corridor — an apex court area which is out of bounds for the public. It was time for the packets to be unsealed.india Updated: Aug 22, 2017 23:40 IST
Courtroom number one, where the Chief Justice of India presides, was teeming on Tuesday morning with advocates, media persons and social activists, all awaiting the arrival of the five judges of a multi-faith Constitution bench.
The judges’ entry was preceded by their personal staff handing over bulky envelopes to the court master.
As the guessing game continued, the judges emerged from the door that leads to the judges’ corridor — an apex court area which is out of bounds for the public. It was time for the packets to be unsealed.
Being the senior most judge on the bench, CJI Khehar pronounced his verdict first and rejected the demand to declare instant triple talaq unconstitutional. Even before he could complete reading his judgement, a few journalists left the courtroom to break what they thought to be the final verdict.
“SC upholds triple talaq,” flashed a few media outlets.
The lawyers appearing for the petitioners bore looks of confusion as there was no clarification on whether the other judges supported the CJI’s views.
Justice Kurian Joseph read his judgement next and ruled against the continuation of triple talaq. He too, however, did not clarify what the majority view was.
Uncertainty remained even when Justice RF Nariman pronounced his verdict and took a stance similar to Justice Joseph’s. There was still no clarity over whether the controversial practice would continue as Justices UU Lalit and SA Nazeer decisions were not known.
It was the last line spoken by Justice Nariman that settled the issue and brought smiles on the faces of petitioners’ lawyers.
“I want to say that my brother judge, Justice Lalit, concurs with mine and Justice Joseph’s views,” he said before signing his verdict.
Thereafter, the CJI Khehar declared: “In view of the different opinions recorded, by a majority of 3:2 the practice of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ – triple talaq is set aside.”
First Published: Aug 22, 2017 23:40 IST