The Supreme Court of Indian has declared Islamic practice of instant divorce through triple talaq as unconstitutional, illegal and void and not protected by Article 25 (freedom of religion) of the Constitution.
The verdict was given by the 5 member multi-religion constitutional bench of the SC. Justice Kurian Joseph (Christian), Justice U.U Lalit (Hindu) and Justice Rohington F, Nariman (Parsi) gave majority judgment. Chief Justice J.S. Khehar (Sikh) and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer (Muslim) dissented against majority judgment.
In a 3:2 majority judgment, the SC held that triple talaq (referred as Talaq-e-Biddat) is against the basic tenets of Quran and hence, is unacceptable.
The three majority judges held that triple talaq is manifestly arbitrary and violative of the constitution and fundamental right under Article 14 (equality before law) so it must be struck down. Two dissenting judges were in favour of putting the practice on hold for six months and asking the government to come out with a law.
Triple Talaq is a personal practice followed by Muslim communities in the country as a form of divorce wherein a man can unilaterally and arbitrarily end his marriage by merely pronouncing the word Talaq thrice. The man pronouncing the divorce may deliver it through a letter, text message, email or even through a video recording. This practice also does need valid reason to be provided either.
The controversy surrounding the issue arises from the fact that the divorced woman is not provided any legal safeguards under the rule of law against such a divorce or any injustice arising from it. It was alleged that this practise adversely impact rights of women to a life of dignity.
It is also held that this practice against constitutional principles such as gender equality, secularism, international laws etc. It also undermines gender equality is a sacred principle of our constitution and modern society. Event 21 Islamic theocratic countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan have abolished it.