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India: Court Declares Muslim Divorce Practice Unconstitutional

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Indian girl at Church Street in Bangalore holding a sign to spread awareness about rape

Indian girl at Church Street in Bangalore holding a sign to spread awareness about rape. Photo: Kiran Jonnalagadda.


The traditional Islamic practice of unilateral divorce that allows a man to part with his wife by uttering the word talaq (divorce) three times is unconstitutional, India’s top court ruled Tuesday.

The three-two split among the five-member Supreme Court bench came amid growing clamor over petitions filed by Muslim women who challenged the validity of the practice.

“In view of the differing opinions recorded by a majority … the practice of talaq-e-biddat (triple talaq) is set aside,” the court said in its judgment.

“It is clear that this form of talaq (divorce) is manifestly arbitrary in the sense that the marital tie can be broken capriciously and whimsically by a Muslim man without any attempt at reconciliation so as to save it. This form of talaq must, therefore, be held to be violative of the fundamental right contained under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.”

The practice of triple talaq has been facing growing criticism in India over the past few years on grounds of inequality.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to the ruling through a Twitter post, saying, “Judgment of the Hon’ble SC on Triple Talaq is historic. It grants equality to Muslim women and is a powerful measure for women empowerment.”

The chief of Modi’s Hindu nationalist ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), Amit Shah, also hailed the verdict.

“It is the beginning of a new era for Muslim women in India,” Shah said.

Full story: BenarNews

Prabhat Sharan
Mumbai, India

Copyright ©2017, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.


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