All that you should know about Triple Talaq case

Triple Talaq or triple divorce is an issue concerning Muslim women since many decades. Muslim woman comprise 8% of the total population, as per the 2011 census. Triple Talaq means that a muslim man can say ‘Talaq Talaq Talaq’ 3 times and it would lead to a divorce. This practice prevails amongst India’s muslims who practice Hanafi school of law. Several muslim countries have banned triple talaq including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Quatar, and Turkey. India is the country with a 3rd largest muslim population and allows muslims to treat matters like marriage and divorce as per their personal laws. This method is not prevalent among muslims across the world.

With the advent of technology, muslim men started adopting new ways of divorcing their wives. They took to text messages, whatsapp, email, skype, facebook etc. to type out the word talaq three times and send it to their wives without having to face them. This practice was so rigid that even after a man has divorced his wife and wants to go back, he cannot do it without nikah halala. As per the practice of nikah halala the divorced woman has to marry another man, consummate their marriage and then divorce the other husband to return back to the first one after 3 months of being pure again.

In 2015 a woman named Shayara Bano, 35, was given a triple talaq by her husband after 15 years of marriage. In 2016 she knocked on the doors of Supreme Court challenging the validity of obnoxious practices like Triple Talaq, Nikah Halala and Polygamy. Her husband opposed her plea stating that this was governed by muslim personal law.

This case dates back to 2016, when Supreme Court sought assistance regarding pleas challenging ‘polygamy’, ‘nikah halala’ and ‘triple talaq’. Supreme court wanted to assess whether muslim women face any gender based discrimination. The centre was with the supreme court and told them that they need to relook at these issues.

The case gained political momentum in 2017 when AIl India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told the apex court that this falls outside the realms of judiciary as this concerns the personal laws of muslims. 

group of people in black walking

In 2018, as per a Supreme Court ruling, there was no constitutional validity of Triple Talaq and it came as a major spring of change. As per the court triple talaq was violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Indian constitution. The court however, did not touch upon other issues like Nikah halala and polygamy.

In September 2018, Narendra Modi led government sought to make triple talaq a punishable offence and brought the bill on Muslim women (protection of rights on marriage) to the Parliament. As per the bill, if anyone is accused of giving an instant talaq, he would be entitled for up to 3 years in jail. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha after much debate, however, it failed to make past Rajya Sabha since the ruling government didn’t have the majority there. The opposition had protested to make triple talaq punitive as per law. After the bill was not cleared, the Modi government issued an ordinance to make triple talaq punishable. Infact, the ordinance has been issued 3 times a year as the bill is stuck in the upper house. The opposition wants the bill to be referred to a select committee. The ordinances have been cleared by the President.

An ordinance has a life of 6 months. If the parliament session begins, it has to be replaced by a bill that can be passed by the Parliament within 42 days. If this is not done, then the ordinance lapses. The government can promulgate the ordinance if the bill is not passed in the parliament.

After a lot of debate, the government brought three amendments to the initially launched bill:

1. Only the aggrieved party or a close relative of the woman can file the case
2. If there is a reconciliation the case can be dropped
3. The magistrate could release the accused on bail

woman in black niqab during daytime

A lot of amedments have been passed against this case but all have been rejected. As per the opposition, there is a political conspiracy to pass this bill to gain the support of the muslim women. However, as per the government if so many predominantly muslim countries have made this practice unlawful then why should India, the world’s largest democracy be any far behind? This is a regressive practice and many millions of women have suffered under the umbrella of triple talaq for years. It’s high time this becomes a law in India.

- Tanya Kathpal 

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All that you should know about Triple Talaq case All that you should know about Triple Talaq case Reviewed by EMN on March 25, 2019 Rating: 5

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