Many Islamic nations have already ushered in reforms and restricted or banned the practice of talaq-e-bidat.
New Delhi: Former Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid has said that the apex court verdict setting aside triple talaq as unconstitutional has uncovered the real Islam and has uprooted all the practices established outside Islam.
He said there is no role of legislature now as it is only the minority, which said the legislature should step in, but the majority has not sought that so now there is no role of legislature. On women who approached the apex court to set aside the order of divorce granted through triple talaq, he said usually constitution bench sets out law and doesn’t go into individual cases, which have to be dealt with separately in appropriate courts. Former Chief Justice of Jharkhand high court M. Karpagavinayagam faulted CJI Khehar for his minority verdict asking Parliament to enact legislation. He said referring an issue to Parliament is a time-consuming process. In recommending legislation and passing the buck to Parliament, the CJI had taken a political view, which is incorrect.
He pointed out that the apex court had taken this case initially suo motu (on its own) considering the importance and later petitions were filed for quashing the practice. While this being the position, the CJI’s view is wrong.
Justice Karpagavinayagam was of the view that in a democracy women belonging to any religion should not suffer due to discrimination in divorce law as their plight after divorce is unimaginable. He felt that the majority judgment had kept this in mind while rendering justice to the women deprived of their rights.
Advocate Balaji Srinivasan, who filed the first petition on behalf of Shayara Bano for quashing triple talaq said there is no place for gender discrimination in a democracy. He said by upholding triple talaq as a religious practice, the CJI had taken a strange position which is not in the interest of Muslim women. Many Islamic nations have already ushered in reforms and restricted or banned the practice of talaq-e-bidat, so as to ensure that talaq is preceded by an attempt for reconciliation. However, Muslim women in India were being given talaq over Skype, Facebook, and even WhatsApp messages.
He said there was no protection against such arbitrary divorce and Muslim women had their hands tied while the guillotine of divorce dangled, perpetually ready to drop at the whims of their husbands who enjoyed undisputed power. In other words, Muslim women were treated like chattel. Finally, Shayara Bano knocked the doors of the Apex Court and the judgment in Shayara Bano’s case is a watershed moment for our democracy. The Court has declared the practice of talaq-e-bidat unconstitutional and thereby secured the fundamental right of Muslim women to live a life of dignity.
Advocate V.K. Biju said by considering the overall nature of the judgment it can be seen that all the five judges had taken a view that triple talaq at one time was illegal. The minority has suspended the operation of triple talaq for six months and both judgments have to be welcomed.
Amnesty International in a statement welcome the judgment and said triple talaq is a discriminatory practice that violates women’s right to equality, and has devastated the lives of many Muslim women. The Supreme Court’s bar on this regressive practice is a step forward for women’s rights in India. “We urge the government to repeal all religious family laws that violate women’s right to equality, without exception’, it said.