live

SC decision on triple talaq highlights: BJP claims credit for judgement, says political will led to decisive ruling

The Supreme Court would on Tuesday pronounce a historic judgement on the controversial issue of whether the practice of 'triple talaq' among Muslims is fundamental to the religion.

FP Staff August 22, 2017 18:57:34 IST
Auto refresh feeds
SC decision on triple talaq highlights: BJP claims credit for judgement, says political will led to decisive ruling

Highlights

19:39 (ist)

The first rally held against triple talaq was in 1966

This march towards the Mantralaya, held on 18 April, 1966, marked the first steps taken towards safeguarding Muslim women’s rights and was the beginning of the social justice movement against triple talaq.

Photo courtesy: Janata Dal Secular Party

12:11 (ist)
Here is the chronology of all that happened between 11 May and 22 August
 
 
May 11: SC says it would examine whether the practise of triple talaq among Muslims is fundamental to their religion.
 
May 12: SC says the practise of triple talaq was the "worst" and "not desirable" form of dissolution of marriages among Muslims.
 
May 15: Centre tells SC that it will bring new law to regulate marriage and divorce among the Muslim community if triple talaq struck down. SC says it would examine whether triple talaq was an essential part of religion under Article 25 of Constitution.
 
May 16: AIMPLB tells SC that matters of faith cannot be tested on grounds of constitutional morality, says triple talaq a matter of faith for last 1,400 years. Equates the issue of triple talaq with the belief that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya.
 
May 17: SC asks AIMPLB whether a woman can be given an option of saying 'no' to triple talaq at the time of execution of 'nikahnama'. Centre tells SC triple talaq is neither integral to Islam nor a "majority versus minority" issue but rather an "intra-community tussle" between Muslim men and deprived women.
 
May 18: SC reserves verdict on triple talaq.
 
May 22: AIMPLB files affidavit in SC saying it would issue an advisory to 'Qazis' to tell bridegrooms that they will not resort to triple talaq to annul their marriage. AIMPLB lists out in SC guidelines for married couples. These include "social boycott" of those Muslims who resort to triple talaq and the appointment of an arbitrator to settle marital disputes.
 
Aug 22: SC by majority verdict of 3:2 rules that divorce through triple talaq is void, illegal and unconstitutional and against basic tenets of Quran. Three judges favour putting on hold for six months the practise, asking the government to come out with a law in this regard.
 
 
PTI
11:45 (ist)

Only instant divorce is invalidated, not revocable divorce

While the Supreme Court has observed that instant talaq or triple talaq or Talaq-ul-Bidaat is invalid and unconstitutional, the second kind of divorce available to Muslims is the revocable divorce or Talaq-ul-Sunnat. However, several reports said that the Supreme Court will not be considering the legality of revocable talaq when the petitions were being heard.

The verdict seems to have considered only instant talaq or talaq-e-biddat. Banning talaq-e-biddat does not do a lot for gender parity amongst muslims because men will still hold the right to talaq without resorting to legal action.

10:24 (ist)

What the Indian Constitution says

Under the Constitution, religious freedom is subject to all other Fundamental Rights. Article 25 — which guarantees Freedom of Practice and Propagation of Religion — does not protect religious practices since they can negatively affect the welfare of citizens. Article 14, which guarantees the Right to Equality, overrides Article 25 because triple talaq denies a Muslim woman's equality before the law.

Similarly, Article 25 is subject to Article 15 (1) which says that the State "shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex..." Since triple talaq does not work in the favour of women, it violates Article 15 (1) of the Constitution.

10:21 (ist)

SC called practice 'worst' form of dissolution of marriage

On 12 May 2017, the Supreme Court said the practice of triple talaq was the "worst" and "not desirable" form of dissolution of marriages among Muslims, even though there were schools of thought which termed it as "legal".

There are "school of thoughts (which) say that triple talaq is legal, but it is the worst and not desirable form for dissolution of marriages among Muslims," a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, said on the second day of continued hearing on the matter.

10:16 (ist)

Muslim personal law governs Indian Muslims

Muslim law in India comes from the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 which says that in so far as matters concerning marriage, divorce, inheritance and other personal matters, the law governing Muslims in India shall be the Muslim personal law or the Shariat.

10:09 (ist)

Triple talaq not followed in Pakistan

The practice has been denounced in Pakistan, which describes itself as an Islamic Republic. The former Chief Justice of Pakistan Jawwad S Khawaja had said that "triple talaq was never a part of pure Islamic history and was not considered valid as per Islamic law." He further added that, "Instant talaq or triple talaq has not been considered valid in Islam and it is not considered to be the best form of divorce under Islamic law. If you look at what jurists have opined in the 1,000-year old history that it was never acceptable and it has never been the most accepted of talaq in any era of Islamic history,”

09:38 (ist)

Modi had asked to not politicise issue

On 29 April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Muslims not to view the triple talaq issue from a political perspective and expressed the confidence that efforts to end the practice would be led by "enlightened" members of the community.

At a function to mark the Basava Jayanti celebrations inhonour of Kannada philosopher Basaveswara, Modi referred to the 12th century reformer's movement against regressive practices to speak about triple talaq.

"I appeal to you not to view the triple talaq issue from a political perspective. Come out and find a solution. That solution will have its own majesty and generations will remember you," he said.

Modi said he hoped that "powerful people" would emerge from society and help "eradicate outdated practices and evolve modern systems".

PTI

08:29 (ist)

AIMPLB confident of SC delivering favourable judgment

AIMPLB had expressed confidence that the court will not interfere in Muslim Personal Law and will not ban triple talaq, according to Zee News and ANI. The report quotes AIMPLB member and Muslim cleric Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali as saying, "We have put forth our view in light of Quran and we are confident enough that whatever will be the judgement of the court, it will naturally be in the light of the Constitution of our country."

Read full report here.

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Aug 22, 2017 - 20:07 (IST)

Amnesty welcomes SC verdict, says 'step forward' for women's rights

Amnesty International India on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict striking down the practice of triple talaq among Muslims as a step forward for women's rights in India.

After the apex court declared talaq-e-biddat unconstitutional, Asmita Basu at Amnesty India said: "We welcome the Supreme Court judgment. Triple talaq is a discriminatory practice that violates women's right to equality, and has devastated the lives of many Muslim women.

Aug 22, 2017 - 19:57 (IST)

Post triple talaq verdict, activists focus on Section 377, marital rape

As the Supreme Court on Tuesday banned instant triple talaq, activists urged the apex court to also take steps to decriminalise homosexuality and penalise marital rape.

The triple talaq verdict should open people's minds to more progressive laws, gay rights activist Harish Iyer said.

"Any step in the direction of liberty for the most marginalised should be seen as a wave that all allied causes could ride on. The verdict should open our minds to more progressive laws, including on Section 377," Iyer said. PTI

Aug 22, 2017 - 19:43 (IST)

Judgement favourable but concrete law need of the hour

"The judgement is favourable but the government needs to implement a concrete law to lay down the punishment that will be handed out to the offenders. Unless that is in place, I consider this a 'half-victory'. The law should be framed without any interference of political ideologies and must take effect urgently."  

Aug 22, 2017 - 19:39 (IST)

The first rally held against triple talaq was in 1966

This march towards the Mantralaya, held on 18 April, 1966, marked the first steps taken towards safeguarding Muslim women’s rights and was the beginning of the social justice movement against triple talaq.

Photo courtesy: Janata Dal Secular Party

Aug 22, 2017 - 19:32 (IST)

The Forgotten Case of Bilquees Akhtar 

The case of Mohammad Naseem Bhat vs Bilquees Akhtar heard by Justice Hasnain Masoodi is an infrequently told story of a Muslim wife's claim for maintenance against her husband.

Bhat and Akhtar got married in August 2002 and had a daughter. The marriage failed and Bilquees started living separately with her daughter. In January 2006, she filed a claim for maintenance for herself and her daughter. She alleged that her husband ill-treated her, mainly because she had given birth to a girl child. The husband held that he had divorced her more than a month before the child was born, and hence she wasn't entitled to any maintenance.

The lower court accepted the man's divorce plea and rejected Akhtar's claim of maintenance for herself. Thus, he was directed to pay a monthly amount only towards his daughter.

Shabnam Lone, who was appointed by the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir as amicus on behalf of the lady in 2014 told Firstpost that this is a great day for women. "It's a split verdict but the majority's will shall prevail. The Muslim Personal Law Board has no statutory powers. It's just a 'billionaire's club'. The prophet detested the concept of divorce and they are going against the prophet's words. Triple talaq was against the self worth of women and it is certainly not what the prophet ordained."

Aug 22, 2017 - 19:25 (IST)

Pakistan, Egypt among 19 other countries that have abolished triple talaq

The Supreme Court, in its judgment declaring instant triple talaq as unconstitutional, has cited laws from 19 countries including Pakistan and Egypt which have abolished the practice.

The judgment has drawn upon the book "Muslim Law in India and Abroad" by Tahir Mahmood and Saif Mahmood and has categorised countries that have done away with 'talaq-e-biddat' as Arab States, Southeast Asian States, and the Subcontinental States. 

The Arab states that have laws against instant triple talaq include Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. IANS

Aug 22, 2017 - 19:08 (IST)

AIMPLB's failure to address issues sealed triple talaq's fate

Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari on Tuesday said the issue of triple talaq would not have reached the Supreme Court, had the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) not failed to address the problems of women "wronged" by the divorce practice.

Bukhari said the stand of the AIMPLB, which "considers itself as a custodian" of the matters related to civil issues of the Muslim community in the country, was ambivalent in the matter of triple talaq.

"Why did the Muslim Law Board not act? This is why these women (the petitioners) had to approach the court. The Muslim Law Board first told the court that it would issue an advisory in the marriage contract to avoid this practice. Then, it said it would socially boycott those who resort to this practice," Bukhari told PTI. PTI

Aug 22, 2017 - 18:49 (IST)

Triple talaq was a distortion of original Quranic principles, says P Chidambaram

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court judgement on 'triple talaq', saying the majority judgement is a resounding affirmation of gender justice and of equality of spouses.
 

Reacting to the apex court judgement, the former Union minister, himself a senior lawyer, said in a tweet: "Triple talaq was a distortion of original Quranic legal principles. Good it has been declared unconstitutional."  IANS

Aug 22, 2017 - 18:35 (IST)

Rahul Gandhi congratulates women who fought against triple talaq

Aug 22, 2017 - 18:35 (IST)

Law should be same in bringing justice to women, says Speaker Sumitra Mahajan

The Supreme Court would on Tuesday pronounce a historic judgement on the controversial issue of whether the practice of 'triple talaq' among Muslims is fundamental to the religion.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar had reserved its verdict on May 18 after a six-day marathon hearing during the summer vacation.

During the hearing, the apex court had clarified that it may not deliberate upon the issue of polygamy and said it would only examine whether triple talaq was part of an "enforceable" fundamental right to practice religion by the Muslims.

Besides CJI Khehar, the bench also included Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman, UU Lalit and S Abdul Nazeer.

The 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.

The petitioners had claimed that the practice of 'triple talaq' was unconstitutional.

The Muslim women, who had filed the petitions, have challenged the practice of 'triple talaq' in which the husband pronounces 'talaq' thrice in one go, sometimes even by phone or a text message, to get a divorce.

During the hearing, the apex court had observed that the practice of 'triple talaq' was the "worst" and "not a desirable" form of dissolution of marriage among Muslims, even though there were schools of thought which called it "legal".

SC decision on triple talaq highlights BJP claims credit for judgement says political will led to decisive ruling

File image of the Supreme Court of India. AFP

Several lawyers including noted jurist Ram Jethmalani had attacked the practice on various constitutional grounds including the right to equality and termed it "abhorrent".

It was argued that triple talaq was a discrimination on the ground of sex and this practice was abhorrent to the tenets of holy Quran and no amount of advocacy can save this "sinful" practice which is contrary to constitutional tenets.

The Centre had told the bench that it will come out with a law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if 'triple talaq' is held invalid and unconstitutional by the apex court.

The government had termed all the three forms of divorce among the Muslim community –- talaq-e-biddat, talaq hasan and talaq ahsan, as "unilateral" and "extra-judicial".

It has said that all personal laws must be in confirmity with the Constitution and rights of marriage, divorce, property and succession has to be treated in the same class and has to be in conformity with the Constitution.

The Centre had said 'triple talaq' is neither integral to Islam, nor a "majority versus minority" issue but rather an "intra-community tussle" between Muslim men and deprived women.

The apex court had said it was keeping open for adjudication in the future the issues of polygamy and 'nikah halala' among Muslims as the Centre had insisted deliberations on these aspects as well.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), had equated the issue of 'triple talaq' with the belief that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya and these were matters of faith which cannot be tested on grounds of constitutional morality.

He had argued that triple talaq has been there since 637AD and cannot be termed as un-Islamic as Muslims have been practising it for last 1,400 years.

Sibal had said that either Parliament can enact a law or it should be left to the community itself to deal and the court should not interfere on the issue.

The apex court during the hearing had asked the AIMPLB whether a woman can be given an option of saying 'no' to triple talaq at the time of execution of 'nikahnama' (marriage contract).

It had asked Muslim bodies how a practice like triple talaq could be a matter of "faith" when they have been asserting that it is "patriarchal", "bad in theology" and "sinful".

The batch of pleas had also challenged the constitutional validity of other practices like 'nikah halala' and polygamy among Muslims.

The bench had taken up the main matter on its own as a petition titled "Muslim Women's quest for equality".

The apex court had on its own taken cognizance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in the event of divorce or due to other marriages of their husbands.

 

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date:

also read

Rohingya detained in Jammu not to be deported to Myanmar without due process, says Supreme Court
India

Rohingya detained in Jammu not to be deported to Myanmar without due process, says Supreme Court

On 6 March, 168 Rohingya found living illegally in Jammu during a verification drive were shifted to a holding centre

SC order allowing deportation of Rohingya migrants runs contrary to principles of human dignity
India

SC order allowing deportation of Rohingya migrants runs contrary to principles of human dignity

The ruling of the Supreme Court is reminiscent of the jurisprudential baggage that India has been carrying since partition

'Absolutely frivolous': Supreme Court dismisses plea seeking to delete 26 verses of Quran
India

'Absolutely frivolous': Supreme Court dismisses plea seeking to delete 26 verses of Quran

The apex court has also imposed costs of Rs 50,000 on the petitioner, which was filed by former UP Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi