Talaq is the repudiation or rejection of marriage under Muslim law. Talaq is a unilateral right given to man to divorce his wife. Husband can give talaq to wife at any point of time, without stating any cause, after attaining the age of puberty. It has been mentioned that a Muslim husband cannot give divorce during the iddat period (4month, 10days).
Under Islamic law, there are different ways of giving divorce. Dissolution of Muslim marriage can be done by either four of them or way.
- by husband
- by wife
- by mutual consent
- by judicial separation under dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939
“Talaq, talaq, talaq”, when pronounced by the husband, the marriage automatically ends at that particular moment. Triple talaq is practised by Muslims under their personal laws. When a husband pronounced “I divorce you” thrice to his wife, both of them are free from each other. It is the process where husband grants divorce to his wife. Talaq-e-biddat means sinful divorce where husband pronounces talaq thrice for the completion of the divorce process. The pronouncement of talaq thrice is known as Triple Talaq.
Being a sinful kind of a talaq, Hanafis (Sunnis) allow triple talaq system and makes it a valid one. Once talaq is pronounced thrice, divorce will take place and wife will become totally separated from husband in terms of responsibilities and relationship. Once talaq is done, the husband cannot marry her once again. She becomes prohibited (haram) for him. The provision of remarriage is also given in Muslim law. Husband can remarry her once if she marries another man and that person gives her divorce. Then only, the husband will be allowed to remarry her once again. Triple Talaq is a mental cruelty against the Muslim women as husband can give talaq at any point of time except the iddat period and also without stating any further reasons behind it.
Considering all these facts, a Muslim lady, Shayara Bano in May, 2016 approached to the Hon’ble Supreme Court to abolish triple talaq. It directly amounts to mental cruelty. Two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court held that there is a gender discrimination against Muslim women by practicing arbitrary divorce and triple talaq. Shayara Bano said that she only wished to secure a life with dignity, unmarred by discrimination on the basis of gender or religion as when she challenged her Muslim personal laws.
In August, 2016 the hon’ble Supreme Court held that the practices of triple talaq under Muslim personal laws illegal and unconstitutional.
A West Bengal based Muslim woman, Ishrat Jahan with other Muslim women and women’s rights organization filed a petition challenging the constitutionality of triple talaq and polygamy under the Muslim personal law. Supreme Court in its Suo moto action, considered the PIL to consider whether certain practices of marriage and divorce under Islamic personal laws amounts to gender discrimination. Ishrat Jahan filed the petition against her husband Murtaza Ansari challenging the validity of triple talaq. The court issued a notice to the husband. It contended that triple talaq is void and also violative of fundamental rights.
The case was further taken and the respondent contended from their side that personal can’t be amended as it is governed by Article 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India. If personal laws will not prevail, then there will a uniform civil code which is again violative of personal and customary laws. All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told to the Supreme Court that personal laws of a community cannot be re-written. Triple talaq reduces those chances of killing wives. It was also contended that triple talaq is a legislative matter and cannot be interfered with. The practice of triple talaq and polygamy were based on Holy Scripture Al-Quran and courts cannot supplant its own interpretations over the text of scriptures.
On 5th September 2016, Supreme court granted centre four weeks to respond on triple talaq issue as the court feels that it is violative of Article 14(equality), Article 15( non-discrimination) , Article 21(life) and Article 25(religion) of the constitution of India.
Talaq means the dissolution of marriage under Muslim law. But every divorce should be the consensus of mind of the both the parties. Husband and wife should agree and then the divorce process should be initiated. Triple talaq is a concept in Muslim personal law which is followed by Sunnis. Under this, the husband has the power to give divorce to his wife irrespective of any reason. Cases are running in the hon’ble Supreme Court of quashing the validity of triple talaq as it violates fundamental rights f a woman. Women are not a piece of a toy that can be thrown away directly for the course of marriage. Hence, triple talaq should be held unconstitutional and void.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sakshi Jain is currently pursuing her BLS LLB from Government Law College, Mumbai. Although she’s keen to gain knowledge and explore things going around her, her priority always stays focused on law only. Although she yearns for a career in the corporate sector, she’s quite confident regarding her capability to endure in other fields also. A passionate law student and a natural reader, she wants to complete her master degree from Harvard, Oxford, or London University.