The Indian Supreme Court finds Islamic practice of instant divorce by ‘triple talaq’ unconstitutional.
The ‘triple talaq’ is an Islamic practice which allows men to instantly divorce their wives by pronouncing the word ‘talaq’ (the Arabic word for a type of divorce) three times. After decades of campaigning by women’s groups and victims, India’s Supreme Court has declared the practice unconstitutional.
In May 2017, the Indian Supreme Court formally opened hearings into a number of applications challenging the constitutionality of the practice of ‘triple talaq’ in Islam. As the practice was protected in law, increasing numbers of women receiving a ‘triple talaq’ from their husbands were being left without financial or emotional support.
The judgment was handed down on 22nd August 2017 with a 3-2 majority of the Indian Supreme Court bench finding the practice to be ‘un-Islamic, arbitrary and unconstitutional’. This ruling should therefore mean that the ‘triple talaq’ will no longer be considered a permissible practice in India. Other Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Bangladesh have also banned the practice.
Campaigners have hailed this decision as a huge victory for Muslim women in India. Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, an activist group that was party to the legal battle has already prepared a draft law to send to the government in order to ensure that the decision is reflected in legislation as soon as possible.