Triple talaq struck down

Triple Talaq

Triple Talaq

The five-member bench of the Supreme Court set aside the practice of "talaq-e-biddat" by a majority of 3:2.

"Finally, I feel free today", Shayara Bano, who was divorced through triple talaq and was among the women who brought the case, told reporters after the ruling.

"If these personal laws were arbitrary and pernicious traditionally, they must give way to the doctrine of equality and the right to have a dignified life for all citizens".

Various petitioners had knocked the doors of the apex court seeking to strike down triple talaq.

Supreme Court has imposed a six-month ban on the practice and has given the center the same time to pass a legislation in the parliament.

Muslims are governed by the personal law that came into force in 1937.

India's top court has ruled the practice of instant divorce in Islam unconstitutional, marking a major victory for women's rights activists. So, the Muslim Personal Law Board opposed court intervention by arguing that the court must keep out of the faith matters.

A panel of Supreme Court (SC) judges said that the practice, known as "triple talaq", "is not integral to religious practice and violates constitutional morality". Until today, triple talaq was considered a legal avenue for the country's almost 180 million Muslims to end marriages.

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Kapil Sibbal, who represented the board in the case, had said, "Testing the validity of customs and practices is a slippery slope into which the Supreme Court must not venture".

Opposing view of Justice Khehar and Nazeer, Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, Uday Umesh Lalit and Kurian Joseph said that triple talaq is unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court further asked the Union Government to formulate a new legislation within six months.

The opposition Congress called it "a progressive, secular judgment for equal rights of Muslim women in India".

At least twenty-two other countries including India's neighbors Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have banned triple talaq either explicitly or implicitly.

Earlier, 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.

"Today's judgment on one level is very historic", said Hasina Khan from the Bebaak Collective, an organization which campaigns against the practice.

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