Triple Talaq in India and World- Supreme Court Decision Regards It as Unconstitutional

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Triple talaq is a form of Islamic divorce, which allows any Muslim man to legally divorce his wife by stating the word talaq (the Arabic word for “divorce” ) three times in oral, written, or more recently electronic form.

Triple Talaq in India and World
  • On 22 August 2017, Supreme Court deemed instant triple talaq unconstitutional
  • Practice of triple talaq objected on issues of justice, gender equality, human rights, and secularism.
  • Debate is also closely tied to uniform civil code in India
  • Three judges of the five-judge SC panel decided that the practice of instant triple talaq was unconstitutional while two judges ruled that the practice is constitutional, but simultaneously asking the government to ban the practice by enacting a law.
  • Centre to come out with a law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims with the ‘triple talaq’ now invalid and unconstitutional

Muslim Personal Law

  • Muslim family affairs governed by the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937
  • Among first few acts passed after the Government of India Act, 1935 became operational
  • Introduces provincial autonomy and dyarchy at the federal level.
  • Replaced the so-called “Anglo-Mohammedan Law” previously operating for Muslims, and became binding on all of India՚s Muslims
  • Shariat law is open to interpretation by the ulama (Muslim legal scholars) some of whom consider triple talaq appropriate others not.
  • Traditional Islamic jurisprudence considers triple talaq particularly disapproved, but legally valid
  • Owing to historical factors, checks on the husband՚s unilateral right of divorce by governments of other countries, such as prohibition of triple talaq not implemented in India.

International Acceptance of Triple Talaq

  • Changing social conditions are producing increasing dissatisfaction with traditional Islamic law of divorce since the early 20th century
  • Various reforms have been undertaken in different countries- 22 Muslim countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh or their provinces abolished triple talaq either explicitly or implicitly.
  • Turkey and Cyprus have adopted secular family laws
  • Tunisia and Algeria and the Malaysian state of Sarawak do not recognize a divorce pronounced outside a court of law
  • In Iran triple talaq doesn՚t have validity under its Shia law

Various Personal Laws

  • Government earlier termed all the three forms of divorce among the Muslim community: talaq-e-biddat, talaq hasan and talaq ahsan, as “unilateral” and “extra-judicial” .
  • According to government, all personal laws must be in conformity with the Constitution. Rights of marriage, divorce, property and succession has to be treated in the same class and in conformity with the Constitution.
  • Muslim couples not required to register their marriage with civil authorities with muslim marriages considered to be a private matter, unless the couple decided to register their marriage under the Special Marriage Act of 1954.

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