In a major historic decision, the Supreme Court today held triple talaq, a Muslim practice followed in the country for decades, is unconstitutional and struck it down by 3:2 majority
While Justices Rohinton Nariman, Uday Lalit and Joseph Kurien ruled that triple talaq is unconstitutional. Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice Abdul Nazeer upheld the validity of triple talaq. The Chief Justice observed that talaq-e-biddat is an integral part of the Sunni community and has been practiced for a 1000 years.Chief Justice J.S Khehar asked the government to bring legislation in six months to govern marriage and divorce in the Muslim community.
The triple talaq violates the fundamental rights of Muslim women as it irrevocably ends marriage without any chance of reconciliation, the court pronounced.Triple talaq, or verbal divorce, is practiced by some in the Muslim community to instantly divorce their wives by saying talaq three times.
Justice Joseph also said what cannot be true in theology cannot be protected by law and added that triple talaq is not recognised by Khuran and hence it couldn't be a practice to be protected under the right to religion.The ball is now in Parliament's court. It is to be noted that the Centre had during the course of hearings earlier this year told the bench that it will come out with a law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if 'triple talaq' is held invalid and unconstitutional by the apex court.
In February this year, the SC said a Constitution bench would be set up to hear and decide on whether 'triple talaq', the oral divorce practice some Muslims follow, is constitutionally valid. The bench reserved its verdict on May 18 after a six-day marathon hearing during the summer vacation.