‘It is against tenets of Quran’
New Delhi: By a majority ruling of 3 judges against 2, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq is “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.
The apex court also held that the triple talaq is against the basic tenets of the Quran.
While Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were in favour of putting on hold for six months the practice of triple talaq, asking the government to come out with a law in this regard, Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman and UU Lalit held it as violative of the Constitution.
The majority verdict said any practice including triple talaq which is against the tenets of Quran is unacceptable.
The three judges also said the practice of divorce through triple talaq is manifestly arbitrary and violative of the Constitution and must be struck down.
The minority verdict by CJI Khehar and Justice Nazeer asked political parties to set aside their differences and help the Centre in coming out with a legislation to bar the practice.
The judges in the minority verdict said that if the Centre does not bring a law within six months, then its six-month injunction on triple talaq will continue.
CJI Khehar and Justice Nazeer in their minority verdict expressed hope that the Centre’s legislation will take into account concerns of Muslim bodies and the Sharia law.
The Supreme Court said that the practice of triple talaq was “manifestly arbitrary” as the marital tie could be broken “whimsically” by a Muslim man and this must be held to be violative of the fundamental right to equality. One of the two separate majority judgements, penned by Justice RF Nariman, said that the provision of triple talaq in the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, must be struck down as it was void to the extent that it recognised and enforced the practice of triple talaq.
Justice Nariman, whose views were concurred with by Justice UU Lalit, said that subordinate legislation could be struck down on the ground that it was arbitrary and violative of Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution.
“It is clear that this form of talaq 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,” he said in his 93-page judgement.
The majority judgement also said that applying the test of manifest arbitrariness in this case, “It is clear that triple talaq is a form of talaq which is itself considered to be something innovative, namely, that it is not in the Sunna, being an irregular or heretical form of talaq.”