This article on ‘A Brief Description of Triple Talaq’ is written by Parvati Ranawat. A law student of University College of Law (UCL), Mohan Lal Sukhadia University, Udaipur. Last year in this month on which Triple Talaq Bill is passed by our Indian Legislature. So, read this article now.
Today, we live in the modern world era where every person has fundamental rights, constitutional rights, and human rights. India, being a democratic country has a constitution that respected and followed by its citizens. Every individual has a right to raise his voice against the traditions which affect human life. One such tradition that has severely effected human life is Triple Talaq.
WHAT IS TRIPLE TALAQ?
Firstly, the question arises that what is Triple Talaq. Talaq-e-bid day or Talaq-e-mughallazah is the practice; under which a Muslim man could divorce his wife by simply uttering the word ‘Talaq’ three times. The worst part of this practice; the presence of the wife is not required, she could be given talaq without assigning a valid reason. It is a form of Islamic divorce that’s used by Muslims in India; majorly by adherents of Hanafi, Sunni, Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence.
Talaq could be given orally, in writing or electronic form. With the advent of technology, the concept of Triple Talaq became easier to execute. There were several cases reported about husbands sending messages; or voice notes or even pictures over Snapchat to utter Talaq and divorce their wives. The right to such a divorce was without any reasonable grounds and was vested only with the husband. Doesn’t this practice make women silent victims? In fact, it ruins the individuality of a woman. Triple Talaq is not even mentioned in the holy book Quran. It is largely denounced by Muslim legal scholars. When many Islamic nations like Bangladesh have barred this practice then India; being a democratic country could have barred this practice way too earlier.
Muslim women are subjected to discrimination. There is no safeguard against arbitrary divorce and second marriage by her husband during the currency of the first marriage; resulting in a denial of dignity and security to her.
This issue relates not merely to a policy matter; but to fundamental rights of women under Article 14 ( equality before law); Article 15 ( non-discrimination), Article 21 (right to life with dignity), and Article 25 ( right to freedom of conscience and religion) of the constitution.
THE SHAYARA BANO CASE
In 1985, a woman named Shayara Bano was given Triple Talaq by her husband. She filed a writ petition under Article 32; and requested the Honorable Supreme Court to declare talaq-e-biddat and polygamy unconstitutional on the grounds; that it violates the rights guaranteed by the constitution. This case was cited as Shayara Bano V Union of India and others. The Supreme Court examined whether Triple Talaq is safeguarded by Article 25(1) of the constitution; that guarantees the fundamental right to profess, practice, and propagate religion.
Consequently, the Supreme Court held that; it is unconstitutional and also held that merely because a practice has continued for long it cannot remain valid; if it has been expressly declared to be impermissible, this barred the practice by a 3-2 majority. Article 25(2) says that if any of the religious practices violate the fundamental rights then; it can be struck down by the Supreme Court. The same happened with the practice of Triple Talaq; and the Supreme Court held that this practice is derogatory and is a violation of Article 14.
In 2001, in the Daniel Latifi and others Vs. Union of India case;, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of Shayara Bano case.
TRIPLE TALAQ BILL
Following the verdict by the Supreme Court in 2017, the Lok Sabha tabled the Triple Talaq Bill in December; that sought to criminalize the act of pronouncing divorce thrice. The Muslim Women ( Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill, 2017, made instant Triple Talaq illegal and void; awarding a jail term or imprisonment up to three years to the husband.
Calling it a historic step, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that; the bill (The Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage), 2017 can act as a deterrent; since there were a hundred cases of Triple Talaq even after the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court
The Triple Talaq bill was passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on 25th July and 30th July 2019, respectively. The bill received assent from the President, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind on 31st July 2019. It was subsequently notified as a law in the official gazette on 31st July 2019. This law was retrospectively effective from 19th September 2018.
We are the citizens of India having all fundamental rights. Let us raise our voice together against traditions like Triple Talaq; which is restricting our fellow citizens to enjoy their fundamental rights. It is rightfully stated by the Supreme Court that what is sinful under religion cannot be valid under the law. It is manifestly arbitrary to allow a man to break down a marriage whimsically and capriciously.
Triple Talaq is not integral to religious practice and violates constitutional morality.
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