In split verdict, SC strikes down validity of 'triple talaq' divorce

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Muslim men in India previously were allowed to legally divorce their wives instantly by speaking or even writing or typing the Arabic word for "divorce", which is "talaq", three times. Even in its examination of triple talaq, only talaq-e-biddat or instant and irrevocable talaq has been declared unconstitutional. "We hope that with the legal wrangle settled, now the country's attention will go towards other big problems of the Muslim community", the party said in a statement. According to them, the verdict is progressive and will go a long way to provide justice to Muslim women in the country. "It is high time that Muslim leaders and the so-called "secular" parties paid attention to real serious issues like educational inequality, discrimination in jobs and housing, and framing innocent Muslim youth with terror charges", it said.

Verinder Gupta, on Wednesday said that the verdict of Supreme Court on the instant triple Talaq "vindicated" that stand of Bhartiya Janata Party on the matter. Indigenous Muslims are also part of such tradition and thus rights of women have always been respected and protected.

The split judgment leaves one critical question still open to answer: Who is the most appropriate authority to ensure reforms in the Muslim Personal Law?

He said that the "victims of triple Talaq" have "borne the agony and faced sufferings and humiliations throughout their life". Its senior member, Kamal Farooqui said: "Court order has affected the rights of religious minorities to practice their religion". The court has only held that an unjust practice, which should not be considered a part of the personal law, is unconstitutional.

Asserting that if it is bad in theology, it can not be accepted in law, the bench observed, "What is morally wrong can not be legally right".

Arguing for the All India Women Personal Law Board, Islamic scholar and lawyer Arif Mohammad Khan, who is also a former Union minister, strongly objected to the submissions of the AIMPLB. "What is banned in Quran can not be good in Shariat".

Pointing out that talaq-i-bidat is not an essential part of the Sunni Muslim faith, he emphasized that it had been changed in several Sunni-majority countries. Although the government had asked for a ban on all forms of talaq, the court has banned only instant talaq, and not other forms where the decision is not instantaneous. However, some analysts who reviewed it described the commentary on the practice from the all-male panel as being "patronizing" toward Muslim women. Although many Muslims around the globe see instant divorce as unethical, it has been in use in India. "Few men are trying to take advantage of triple talaq to abandon their wives".