With the SC judgement on Triple Talaq resonating across India today, we take you court-side to witness history in the making.
Today was a very important day in the history of Indian legal system and in particular, the Muslim Law in India. In a landmark verdict, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court today held, by a majority of 3-2, that the practice of Triple Talaq (talaq-e- bidat) is unconstitutional and violates Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India. Vide the minority judgement, Parliament has been instructed to legislate a law covering issues on marriage and divorce vis-a- vis Muslim Law within the next 6 months while placing an injunction on the practice.
The bench, comprised of five judges of different faiths, deliberated for three months before issuing its order. The decision was given by a Bench of Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, along with Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Uday Umesh Lalit and Abdul Nazeer.
Justices Nariman and Lalit held that Triple Talaq is unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 & 15 and not protected by Article 25. While Justice Joseph struck down the practice on the ground that it goes against Shariat and the basic tenets of the Quran. Chief Justice Khehar and Justice Nazeer dissented, holding that the practice cannot be struck down on the ground of being violative of Article 14, inter-alia, since there is no state action and directed the Central government to frame a law to govern the field and as same is protected by Article 25.
There is considerable uncertainty in the media about what the Supreme Court’s judgement really implies. Thaneliving.com went court-side with Advocate Abhishek Bharti, Junior Counsel of Supreme Court who assisted Mr. Balaji Srinivasan (who represented Lead Petitioner Shayara Banu). Advocate Bharti said – “There is a lot of confusion being created in the media about the effect of the judgement by SC. As per 3/2 majority – Triple Talaq has been held as unconstitutional. On the issue of dissenting judgement where court has directed parliament to enact a law may not be a correct view, as the court doesn’t have the power to direct the parliament to do so. Supreme Court has no power to direct parliament in any manner to legislate on a particular topic. SC has never done this in the past but only in one exceptional case ie. Vishaka vs state of Rajasthan Where SC directed parliament to enact a law protecting women from sexual advances at workplace. There 2013 act was enacted protection from Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act.”
Advocate Abhishek Bharti with Shayara Bano after SC judgement
This article should be helpful in clearing some doubts in the air currently as numerous women rejoice in India. Prior to the law, Muslim women could be divorced instantaneously with their husband uttering “Talaq” three times. This archaic practice has become so trivialised that Muslim men would even send the damning words via Whatsapp and on Skype, rendering them destitute, as Muslim women have limited maintenance rights.
In the meantime lets hear what Shayara Bano has to say about the Supreme Court’s judgement