Triple Talaq Case: Five SC judges of 5 different religions begin hearing pleas challenging Triple Talaq

estranged wifeThe five-member bench of the Supreme Court of India on 11 May 2017 began hearing the pleas and final arguments over the constitutionality of the Islamic practice of Triple Talaq. These five judges of five different religions are Chief Justice JS Khehar (Sikh), Justice Kurian Joseph (Christian), Justice Rohinton Nariman (Parsi), Justice Uday Lalit (Hindu) and Justice Abdul Nazeer (Muslim). On the first day of hearing, the court ruled that it will examine whether the practice of triple talaq among Muslims is fundamental to their religion or not.

However, it may not deliberate upon the issue of polygamy as it began hearing petitions challenging the practice. Moreover, it also ruled that each side can argue whatever they want but there should not be any repetition. Their focus shall only be on the validity of triple talaq. The bench cumulatively will hear seven petitions relating to the issue of triple talaq for seven days, with the lead petition titled as ‘Quest for Equality vs Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind’.

Other six petitions were filed by Khuran Sunnath Society, Shayara Bano, Aafreen Rehman, Gulshan Parveen, Ishrat Jahan and Atiya Sabri. The bench will examine the issue to give an authoritative pronouncement on the constitutional and legal validity of triple talaq, nikah halala, and polygamy practices among Muslims. It will also examine the extent to which the court can interfere in the Muslim personal laws if they are found to be violative of the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution.

Triple Talaq case pleas became a matter of importance when the Allahabad High Court in April 2017  in its verdict pronounced the practice of triple talaq as unilateral and bad in law. The High Court verdict came while dismissing a petition filed by Aaqil Jamil whose wife had filed a criminal complaint against him alleging that he had tortured her for dowry and when his demands were not met, he gave her triple talaq. She challenged the practice of triple talaq in which her husband used to pronounce talaq thrice in one go quite often and sometimes even by phone or text message.

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