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Triple Talaq: Saga of Remarkable Judgment


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Vishad Srivastava, B.A. LL.B. (H), Amity University

“In view of the above different opinions recorded , by a majority of 3:2 the practice of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ – triple talaq is set aside.” These are the words by Chief Justice Khehar and justice Abdul Nazeer. Finally after long struggle constitution bench came with a justified order which was reserved by them on May 18, 2017. The apex court put a six month stay on the practice of triple talaq, directing Parliament to enact a law. Supreme court referred to the abolition of triple talaq in Islamic countries and asked why India can’t get rid out of it. Now the question arises What will happen after six months. For this it is mentioned in the judgment that if law doesn’t come in force in six months, then SC has asked political parties to keep their differences aside and help central government to bring out the law.

Let’s see the timeline in which this historic decision took place:

  1. On March1 2016 the writ petition of Shayara bano was contended wrong by Muslim Organization it said that Supreme Court cannot take hearing on personal laws and for this counter affidavit is  filed by the Muslim Organization.
  2. Shayara Bano was asking relief to declare talaq-e-bidat as unconstitutional, to dissolute Muslim Marriage Act as it gives legal protection to bigamy and to declare any type of Islamic divorce as unconstitutional.
  3. On 26 March 2016 All India Muslim Personal Law Board files an interlocutory application in the case where Muslim women Quest for equality and Shayara Bano case was being heard by former CJI T.S. Thakur and Justice UU Lalit where it is mentioned in their application that Muslim Personal Law is cultural issue it must be seen with Article25 and Article 26 and read with Article 29 of the constitution.
  4. It further stated that present case has already been discussed in Ahmadabad Women Action Group vs. Union of India in which court has said that it is the duty of legislature not the judiciary to amend the law.
  5. On June 29 2016 Supreme Court gives six weeks time to the parties to frame legal proposition requiring consideration and this will lead the further move of court whether the case wants to be handle in more depth or whether it requires larger bench to hear upon. Moreover, they have asked government to file reply for the given writ petition and has directed AIMPB to not to give any comments related to this issue.
  6. December 8 2016 a crucial judgment came from the Allahabad High Court where it held that personal laws of any community cannot claim supremacy of the right granted to the individuals by the constitution. The court also raises the serious question that personal law should not be so cruel towards any community which continuously infringe their fundamental rights.
  7. On February 17, 2017 Mumbai based Majlis Manch which has been worked for legal rights for women and have worked for women who are helpless because of this triple talaq issue. NGO constantly opposing this issue and contended that as per Quran this talaq is not valid.
  8. On 17 Feb Supreme court asked Majlis Manch to have a lawyer to present their views and have constituted a constitution bench which will hear all 6 writ petition on May11 i.e. during the vacation period. All 6 writ petition were of Shayara Bano, Muslim Women Quest for Equality, Aafreen Rehman, Gulshan Parveen, Ishrat Jahan and Atiya Sabri.
  9. Final tussle started from May 11 to May 18 and finally decision was kept reserved by the bench these 6 days was having the toughest war of words as big players were playing the match Kapil Sibbal for AIMPLB Indira Jaisingh for one of the petitioner.

Kapil Sibbal was many times marked by the judges as in his contention includes the speech of politician which includes Ram Mandir and many thing else and many times Indira Jaisingh has shouted on him. A incident took place where Sibbal makes the bench understand that they are on the slippery slope where they are not responsible to carry out societal sins for which Mrs Indira replied that bench is on the razor garden where our judiciary have to walk carefully.

After all this big social fight, it all ended on 22 August 23, 2017 where constitution bench which comprises of CJI Khehar, Justice Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman, U.U Lalit and Abdul Nazeer gives decision in 3:2 ratio in the favour of victims of this talaq and this decision have made people’s faith resotred   in judiciary

In a 275 page judgment by CJI he said that 1400 years old culture cannot be abolished and same was the opinion of Abdul Nazeer but the things changed when Justice Kurian tell that why it should be unconstitutional and with the same decision 2 others judge give their assent for the justice Kurian and hence the judgment came out in the 3:2 ratio.

This case is victory for all the muslim women who were affected by it it is actual victory of lakhs of Shah Bano and Shayara Bano who are bold enough who came forward to abolish this unnecessary ritual where every person was in pain. Time has come to act upon Uniform Civil Code where many of the provision like this will eradicate off. Triple Talaq is one of the example there are thousand of laws which are required to be repealed and thousand of  new amendments waiting

 to help more needy people who is disturbed so much due to unnecessary rituals which are performed brutally.Quran has mention the simple and effective way which Parliament can form out that by saying one time talaq 21 period time will be given to think and this procedure will be done 3 times so by this way it will be more authenticate or another option is to codify divorce act which will have a common mode of getting divorce legally for all the community and that should be made compulsory. As B.J.P is in majority then they have to formulate simple and effective law. They can also act adversely on many things like halala, 4 marriaages which are all enemies of the innocent Muslim women. Today we talk about modern India but modern India should not be trap in this issues where rituals are present to that extent that a court has to decide with so much extensive research, we have to get out of all this then only we can think of bigger and brighter India.


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