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Instant Talaq Un-Islamic, Even We Did Away With It: Former Pakistan CJ

Justice Khawaja said the three months gap worked as a cooling off period and the practice of instant divorce does not even have the sanction of the Islamic jurists.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:June 21, 2017, 11:18 AM IST
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Instant Talaq Un-Islamic, Even We Did Away With It: Former Pakistan CJ
Justice Khawaja said the three months gap worked as a cooling off period and the practice of instant divorce does not even have the sanction of the Islamic jurists. (Image: Reuters)
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New Delhi: As India looks forward to the landmark verdict in the triple talaq case from the constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar next month, one point of law that was repeatedly highlighted in front of the bench was how many Islamic nations had done away with the practice of instant divorce and one country which found prominent mention was Pakistan.

The former and 23rd Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, who was also the lone dissenting judge in the landmark verdict where he held military courts to be unconstitutional, spoke to News18 from Lahore and said that “triple talaq was never a part of pure Islamic history and was not considered valid as per Islamic law.”

“Instant talaq or triple talaq has not been considered valid in Islam and it is not considered to be the best form of divorce under Islamic law. If you look at what jurists have opined in the 1000-year old history that it was never acceptable and it has never been the most accepted of talaq in any era of Islamic history,” said the former Chief Justice of Pakistan.

The procedure of Talaq in Pakistan is governed by a statutory enactment under section 7 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961, which states that husband pronounces talaq (orally or by way of Deed of Divorce) and sends written notice by registered post to the Union Council (UC), mentioning address of his wife.

Thereafter, the concerned UC sends a copy of the notice to wife by registered post and it constitutes arbitration Council within 30 days of receipt of notice. Once the iddat period (90 days from the date the UC receiving the talaq notice) is over, the UC issues a certificate of talaq.

Justice Khawaja said the three months gap worked as a cooling off period and the practice of instant divorce does not even have the sanction of the Islamic jurists.

“Even traditional Islamic jurists had never considered or accepted the practice of instant triple talaq as a part of the pure Islamic law. In Pakistan we have a statutory enactment and the statute was based on what the Islamic jurists had spoken of and who had stated that this gap of three months was the best and also served as a cooling-off period between the couple,” said Justice Khawaja.

Justice Khawaja was on the bench which decided the Sindh High Court Bar Association case, in which the Court declared the state of emergency imposed by President General Pervez Musharraf on 3 November 2007 to be unconstitutional and restored most of the judges who were forced to vacate office that day.

| Edited by: Puja Menon
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