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India Moves on From Triple Talaq, Here's How these Muslim Countries Deal With it

India’s neighbour, Pakistan’s Muslim Family Law Ordinance of 1961 was a watershed moment in the country’s history, altering the marital laws and made the customary instant triple talaq, illegal.

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Updated:August 22, 2017, 2:41 PM IST
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India Moves on From Triple Talaq, Here's How these Muslim Countries Deal With it
The Supreme Court has struck down the practice of instant triple talaq, calling it ‘unconstitutional’. (Network18 Creatives)
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New Delhi: In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court has struck down the practice of instant triple talaq, calling it ‘unconstitutional’. The constitution bench, headed by the Chief Justice JS Khehar, delivered a spilt verdict (3:2), invalidating the practice as part of the Muslim Personal Law. The majority judgment came from three judges — Justice Rohinton Nariman, Justice Kurien Joseph and Justice UU Lalit. CJI JS Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer wrote the minority judgment.

India’s neighbour, Pakistan’s Muslim Family Law Ordinance of 1961 was a watershed moment in the country’s history, altering the marital laws and made the customary instant triple talaq, illegal.

The new law required that, in order to obtain a divorce, a husband has to send a written notice to the chairman of the local council with a copy to his wife.

The divorce would not be effective until the expiration of a 90-day waiting period, which will be utilised to constitute an arbitration council, to reconcile both parties. The wife is also free to re-marry her husband after the divorce.

The ordinance came into being after, in 1955, the then Pakistan Prime Minister, Muhammad Ali Bogra, who was already married, went ahead and married his secretary Aliya Saadi, without the permission of his first wife, Hamida.

Offended by the flippant manner in which the leader of the country dealt with the institution of marriage, Hamida Bogra refused to accept everything in silence. She joined forces with the wives of Pakistan’s elite who were members of the All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA) that held nationwide protests against the Prime Minister and polygamy. The campaign eventually transformed into a vehicle for change, where women in Pakistan demanded reforms in Muslim family laws.

Bangladesh, too, follows the same procedure as Pakistan.

Afghanistan has also banned the practice. Meanwhile, divorces in Morocco take place in a secular court as opposed to religious ones, and the man is allowed a second wife only under certain circumstances.

In Tunisia, divorce is a strictly judicial matter and the concept of talaq is not valid. Polygamy was outlawed in 1956 with a one-year punishment for violation or 240,000 francs ($500) fine.

In Turkey, polygamy attracts a two-year imprisonment for a violation, and marriage comes to an end upon the death of a spouse, annulment or divorce decree of a court.

In Indonesia, although polygamy is legal, the law discourages it and restricts its practice. Divorce in the country can only be claimed and submitted before a court.

(Source: Law Ministry Affidavit)
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