New Delhi: In a far-reaching order empowering millions of Muslim women, the Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down triple talaq, or instant divorce, by a 3:2 verdict of the constitutional bench.
After six days of historic hearing, which saw some of the top lawyers argue whether triple talaq was essential to Islam or not, Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice UU Lalit were of the view that triple talaq was not essential to Islam and therefore it should be banned.
“There are four sources of Islamic law. Only the Quran is the first source of law... therefore, sources other than the Quran are supplement to what is in it. There can be nothing more than what is written in the Quran… Triple talaq is against the tenets of Quran and therefore violates Shariat,” Justice Kurian Joseph said in his verdict.
“Freedom of religion is absolute… but what is bad in theology is also bad in law. What is bad in Quran can’t be good in Shariat,” Justice K Joseph added.
Justice UU Lalit endorsed Justice K Joseph’s order.
Justice Nariman said triple talaq was a disapproved form of divorce and even Hanafi law says it’s sinful. His order also said that triple talaq doesn’t fall within the confines of Article 13(1) of the Constitution.
“It is not possible for the court to fold its hands when petitioners come… Court has to declare whether practice is legal or not,” Justice Nariman added.
However, the landmark verdict saw Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer issue dissenting orders.
CJI JS Khehar held that while triple talaq was a heinous practice, it wasn’t appropriate for the court to observe whether it’s valid as per Islam or not. He was of the view that the Parliament should enact a law in this regard.