India Triple Talaq: 5 judges, 5 faiths, what they said

Many people including media persons were initially confused over the Supreme Court verdict on triple talaq

The Supreme Court by a majority verdict on Tuesday set aside the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims, saying the practice was void, illegal and unconstitutional.

The India's court's verdict was marred by confusion initially, with the senior judge, the chief justice of India, announcing that his opinion was to suspend the practice and ask the government to come up with a new law within six months. But, Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman and U U Lalit said triple talaq violated the fundamental right of Muslim women as they are subjected to arbitrary irrevocable divorce through this practice.

Earlier the day, the Supreme Court struck down the Triple Talaq practice as "unconstitutional" by a 3:2 majority.

The then Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had presented the practice of instant divorce as a violation of a woman's right to be treated equally.

Chief Justice and Justice Nazir in his minority judgment expressed the hope that the law of the Center will keep in mind the concerns related to Muslim organizations and Shariah law.

The government has also supported the petitioners, in this case, saying that triple talaq is unconstitutional and derogatory. They said that the practice, which has prevailed for a long time, was integral to Islam in India and part of personal law. It grants equality to Muslim women and is a powerful measure for women empowerment.

Muslim men in India could divorce their wives three times using the word, "talaq", Arabic for divorce.

Several lawyers, including Ram Jethmalani, had attacked the practice on various constitutional grounds, including the right to equality, and termed it "abhorrent".

In October 2015, the Supreme Court of India, in a rare move, questioned whether the Muslim personal law practices regarding marriage and divorce objectify women. While most Hindu personal law has been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched. The prime minister and our government have been sensitive to Muslim women's concerns.

"What is sinful under religion can not be valid under law", they said.

The SC said triple talaq violates the fundamental right of Muslim women as it irrevocably ends the marriage.

The bench had reserved its verdict on May 18 after the six-day marathon hearing concluded during the summer vacation.

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