India is world’s largest democracy and on Tuesday it proved that what it preaches also practices it. The five-judge Supreme Court bench gave a judgement that will be remembered for a long time.
Triple Talaq has ruined lives of many Muslim women, who at the drop of a hat were told by their husbands that their marriage is null and void by just uttering talaq, talaq, talaq three times. The heinous practice was done through WhatsApp, Facebook, Speedpost, SMS and it was as if that women were treated like second-class citizens and clerics and clergy used to get away with this by saying it’s part of their sacred religion. (freepressjournal.in)
The Supreme Court banned the practice of triple talaq with a 3:2 majority, bringing in a rush of relief to Muslim women who had been subject to the practice for years and was hailed as a significant step in gender equality. (deccanherald.com)
While it praised the court for equating provisions of Muslim personal law with fundamental rights under the Constitution, it expressed concern. The criticism comes against the backdrop of deep disappointment in many quarters over the majority view in the SC. (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
The unique and diverse thing about this judgement was that all five judges were from different faiths. Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar (Sikh), Justice Kurian Joseph (Christian), Justice RF Nariman (Parsi), Justice UU Lalit (Hindu) and Justice S Abdul Nazeer (Muslim) delivered the verdict keeping all the emotions aside and gave a judgement, which is for gender equality and gender equity. (freepressjournal.in)
This 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. (telegraphindia.com)
The verdict was immediately welcomed by the government, political parties, activists and the petitioners.
”Finally I feel free today. I have the order that will liberate many Muslim women,” Shayara Bano, one of the women who brought the case, told Reuters after the ruling.
Legal luminary Soli Sorabjee said “it is a progressive judgement which has protected the rights of the women and now no Muslim man can divorce his wife through this method.”
Writing the majority judgement, Justice Joseph said “I find it extremely difficult to agree with the CJI that the practice of triple talaq has to be considered integral to religious denomination in question and that the same is part of their personal law.” Justices Nariman and Lalit shared this view.
Referring to the verses of the Holy Quran, Justice Joseph said, “They are clear and unambiguous as far as talaq is concerned. The Holy Quran has attributed sanctity and permanence to matrimony.
In triple talaq, this door is closed. Hence, triple talaq is against the basic tenets of the Holy Quran and consequently, it violates Shariat”
"What is held to be bad in the Holy Quran cannot be good in Shariat and, in that sense, what is bad in theology is bad in law as well”, he added. (telegraphindia.com)
He also said, "In extremely unavoidable situations, talaq is permissible. But an attempt for reconciliation, and if it succeeds, then revocation, are the Quranic essential steps before talaq attains finality,”(telegraphindia.com)
Triple talaq is banned in several Muslim countries, including in neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh and conservative UAE and Qatar.