Triple talaq row: All you need to now

The triple talaq hearing begins in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court observed May 12 that triple talaq is the "worst" and "not a desirable" form of marriage dissolution for Muslims, despite schools of thought that called it "legal".

He said triple talaq went against Article 14 of the Constitution, which deals with laws that contravene those dealing with fundamental rights, and that any law enforceable in courts has to be covered under this article.

"There is no saving grace for this method of granting divorce. One-sided termination of marriage is abhorrent and avoidable", he said, adding that Article 15 of the Constitution prohibited discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

The woman, who has been married for over six years now, said she was beaten up and abandoned by her husband.

Some Islamic scholars say there is no mention of triple talaq in the Quran, which instead details a different process for divorce based on mediation. On bench's query whether the practice of Triple Talaq is prevalent in other countries as well.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the top court that the Centre was against all forms of triple talaq and would argue on all aspects of gender justice including polygamy. "There is no mutual consent in Triple Talaq and if it comes to an end, whatever consequences will be decided then".

The High Court had given its verdict while dismissing a petition filed by one Aaqil Jamil whose wife had filed a criminal complaint against him alleging that he had tortured her for dowry and when his demands were not met, he gave her triple talaq.

The multi-faith bench of five judges - a Hindu, a Sikh, a Christian, a Zoroastrian and a Muslim - had on Thursday made clear it would not examine the Islamic custom of polygamy and nikah halala while hearing petitions against triple talaq.

The irrevocable triple talaq practice among Muslims, which has generated a "judicial debate" now in India, with a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court hearing the matter on a batch of petitions.

Shayara's husband has opposed her plea on the ground they were governed by the Muslim Personal Law and all three discriminatory practices are sanctified provisions under the very same law.

The Muslim organizations favoring the practice say neither government or courts should intervene into personal and religious affairs. "It violates the rights of Muslim women", ruled the high court, adding that no personal law board was above the Constitution.

The Islamic divorce practice, legal under the Muslim Personal Law of Shariat, allows husbands to separate from their wives by uttering the word "talaq" three times.

  • Jack Mann