Triple Talaq Verdict Live: Muslim Women ‘Granted Equality’ Says PM

Triple Talaq verdict LIVE updates: The Supreme Court on 22 August struck down the validity of triple talaq with a 3:2 majority. A bench comprising five judges, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, had reserved its verdict on 18 May, six days after the hearing began on 11 May.

Stay tuned for live updates on the Triple Talaq verdict.

  • In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court struck down the practice of Triple Talaq as unconstitutional
  • The SC bench declared the practice “un-Islamic, retrograde, unworthy” and said that it “violates right to equality”
  • The verdict was reached by a 3:2 split within a five judge Supreme Court bench

Soon after the Supreme Court judgment on Triple Talaq, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the decision and called it a move that grants equality to Muslim women. The prime minister tweeted in support of the historic verdict.

In a landmark judgment on 22 August, the Supreme Court declared the practice of Triple Talaq “unconstitutional” and “un-Islamic”. The decision was reached with a 3:2 split in a five judge-bench of the Supreme Court.

Also Read: Civil Code Yes, But One That Celebrates Gender Equality

While Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Nariman and UU Lalit called the practice “retrograde and unworthy,” Justice Abdul Nazeer and CJI JS Khehar directed the government to frame a Muslim divorce law within six months. The two called for an injunction or temporary ban on using Triple Talaq for divorce until a legislation was formulated.

In his judgment, CJI Khehar said the Talaq-e-biddat is an integral part of the Sunni community and that it has been practised for over a thousand years. He added that the Talaq-e-biddat is not in violation of Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25, reported ANI.

The overall verdict termed the practice a violation to the right to equality. The three judges against the practice also concluded that the issue need not be referred to the Parliament.

Supreme Court's Triple Talaq Judgment by The Quint on Scribd

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi hailed the SC verdict as being “good for women”.

Maneka Gandhi It’s a good judgement, and it a step forward towards gender justice and gender equality.

Also Read: ‘Unconstitutional’ Triple Talaq Set Aside: Read SC’s Full Judgment

The decision was also upheld by Salman Khurshid, Congress leader and former External Affairs Minister, who called it a decision that will lead the way toward “truth”.

What we hoped to happen has now happened, it is a good decision. It will lead us to truth, reality and the correct practice of Islam.

BJP leader Amit Shah also expressed his support for the decision.

Amit Shah, BJP Chief Verdict on Triple Talaq is historic, it’s not about anyone’s win or loss. I welcome this on behalf of the party.

Shayara Bano, Triple Talaq Victim and PetitionerI welcome and support the judgment. It’s a historic day for Muslim women. 

Earlier in the day, ahead of the judgment, Bano had expressed faith in the imminent verdict.

I feel the judgement will be in my favour. Time has changed & a law will certainly be made.

Bano filed a petition in the Supreme Court against Triple Talaq, Halala and polygamy in February 2016.

The Supreme Court is all set to pronounce a judgement on the controversial issue of whether the practice of 'Triple Talaq' among Muslims is fundamental to their religion.

The bench, comprising judges from different religious communities – Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu, and Muslim – heard seven pleas, including five separate petitions filed by Muslim women challenging the prevalent practice.

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 conform with the Constitution and rights of marriage, divorce, property and succession have to be treated in the same manner across communities.

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 bench had taken up the matter suo motu as a petition titled "Muslim Women's quest for equality".

Ahead of the verdict, Mukul Rohatgi, former Attorney General, said:

It is a big day, let us see what the judgement says.

On 18 May, the Supreme Court reserved its judgement on Triple Talaq after six days of continuous hearings on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Triple Talaq.

On the final day, the counsels of several aggrieved women petitioners and women’s rights organisations – including Anand Grover, Arif Mohammad Khan and Indira Jaising – demanded Triple Talaq be declared illegal.

Before concluding his arguments, Kapil Sibal told the Supreme Court that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had decided to issue a circular to all qazis saying that while finalising the nikahnama, they should advise husbands not to engage in Triple Talaq unless under compelling circumstances.

Read the full story on Triple Talaq on The Quint.

What explains this new assertion of Muslim women? The powerful force of public opinion, not only from within the community but also from outside, is definitely on their side. A survey conducted by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) in 2010 found that 88 percent of Muslim women wanted a ban on Triple Talaq (see infograph below).

Abolition of Triple Talaq
Infogram

The survey was conducted in 10 states and nearly 5,000 Muslim women were approached. This was perhaps the first such attempt on such a scale to get the views of those who really matter in this whole debate on Triple Talaq.

Noted Muslim jurist and former chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Tahir Mahmood says Triple Talaq is a misnomer. He says the results would be the same even if it was a single “Talaq”. The problem, Mahmood points out, is unilateral divorce.

Tahir Mahmood, Chairman of the National Commission for MinoritiesThe divorce laws are very comprehensive, but no one, including the maulvis, are following the religious text. The law is not just being implemented wrong, its interpretation is being completely distorted. The judiciary is the only means to correct this. There is no other way.

Parveen Talha, a practising Muslim woman who disagrees with those who give legal sanction to Triple Talaq, argues that the government should correct its priorities if it wants to improve the lives of Muslim women.

She writes that Muslims have had zero or negligible share in the development plans of the country. Post Independece,they have been stereotyped and cast away as those who engage in polygamy, live in ghettos. Moreover, the Muslims’ share in employment is miserable, particularly in government services.

And yet an average Muslim has to take the blame for being appeased and being anti-national at the same time! Will a woman, who is living in these conditions, be happy, even if she is not a victim of Triple Talaq? Shouldn’t the government correct their priorities even if it wants to improve the conditions of women only among the Muslims?

Sreeparna Chattopadhyay, an Assistant Professor in the School of Development at Azim Premji University, states that the five states where the share of Muslims in the population is higher than the Indian average of 14 percent indicates that Muslim women’s divorce rate outstrips those of women from all religions by a wide margin, other than in Jammu and Kashmir.

Though divorces aren’t necessarily negative considering that some may end an unhappy/abusive marriage, women and men do not face similar outcomes in terms of equal opportunities for education and employment due to gender disparity.

Evidence from the Global North where women’s employment rates are higher and financial dependence on husband is lower, suggest that there too, on divorce, women’s financial well-being decline substantially. . Read more on India by The Quint.Civil Code Yes, But One That Celebrates Gender EqualityTriple Talaq Verdict Live: Muslim Women ‘Granted Equality’ Says PM . Read more on India by The Quint.