India bans ‘Triple Talaq’, upholds Right to Equality

On Tuesday 30th July, Rajya Sabha passed the ‘The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, banning the age old practice triple talaq, instant divorce. India, finally joined the other muslim majority countries to ban the Triple Talaq practice leading way to gender equality and justice.

Triple talaq is a practice where men can utter the word ‘talaq’ thrice and divorce instantly. The triple talaq became even more controversial with the advance of technology, as men can divorce through email and text messages.

According to the Tripla Talaq bill 2019, men who go against the law will be jailed for 3 years.

So far, Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937  governed Muslim family affairs in India. Shariat Act, section 5 also allows muslim women seeking dissolution of her marriage. However, in 1939 Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act replaced section 5. Muslim women can seek divorce at the court of law. Whereas men could randomly divorce without wife consent or citing any reason.

Islamic majority countries like Pakistan (1956) , Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Egypt (1929), have banned triple talaq.

Women who fought to ban triple talaq

The fight against triple talaq goes back to Shah Bano case in 1985. The Supreme Court granted divorce and alimony for life. Much later in 2002, in Shamim Ara vs State of UP judgment Triple Talaq was rendered legally.

In recent years, Ishrat Jahan, Sharaya Banu (Post Graduate in Sociology), Afreen Rahman (MBA Post Graduate), Atiya Sabri, Gulshan Parveen (Masters in English), Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) appealed to the Supreme Court demanding the ban of triple talaq.

Sharaya Banu was the first ‘Triple Talaq’ case appealing to the Supreme Court citing fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. She claimed that ‘Triple Talaq’  violated fundamental rights – Articles 14 (equality before the law), 15(1) (prohibition of discrimination including on the ground of gender), 21 (right to life) and 25 (freedom of religion). In 2017, supreme court banned triple talaq as unconstitutional, as it is against fundamental right -Right to Equality, Article 14.

Well, a time for muslim women to rejoice and applaud this historic law passed by Government of India banning triple talaq and also empowering every women.

Indian muslim women can breathe ease and need not live in constant uncertainty of talaq.

Source: BBC, thecitizen, Indianexpress

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