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SC declares triple talaq as unconstitutional & illegal; Several Muslim bodies welcome judgement

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Supreme Court today set aside the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims, terming it unconstitutional, illegal and void. In a 3:2 majority judgment, the apex court held that triple talaq is against the basic tenets of Quran and hence unacceptable.

The three judges also said the triple talaq is manifestly arbitrary and violative of the Constitution and must be struck down.

While Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman and UU Lalit held triple talaq as violative of the Constitution, Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were in favour of putting on hold for six months the practice and asking the government to come out with a law.

The bench comprised judges from different religious communities -- Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim. It had heard seven petitions, including five separate petitions filed by Muslim women challenging the prevalent practice of 'triple talaq' among Muslims. The Muslim women, who had filed the petitions, had challenged the practice of 'triple talaq' in which the husband pronounces 'talaq' thrice in one go, sometimes even by phone
or a text message, to get divorce.

The bench had taken up the main matter on its own as a petition titled "Muslim women's quest for equality". The apex court had on its own taken cognizance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in the event of divorce or due to other marriages of their husbands.

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