Hailing the Supreme Court ruling which declared as unconstitutional the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the verdict is the law of the land now and a great victory for those who believe that personal laws must be progressive. Stating that many parts of the Islamic world have rejected the triple talaq practice, he said it left women remedy-less if a husband took advantage of it to cover his own wrong and terminate the marriage. Jaitley hoped that others will take a cue from the judiciary and “will also walk on the same progressive path and will ensure that personal laws in India continue to remain progressive and also such aberrations in those laws which infringe constitutional guarantees can now be rectified”.
A renowned lawyer himself, Jaitley hoped lawmakers and opinion leaders would walk on the same progressive path. The Supreme Court by a majority verdict today set aside the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims, saying the practice was void, illegal and unconstitutional. “It is a progressive decision which judiciary has taken … Now the majority decision is the law of the land,” Jaitley said. He said the judgement pronouncing the instant triple talaq to be unconstitutional and void “is a great victory for all those who have always believed that personal laws in India must also be progressive and must be compliant with constitutional guarantees”.
The practice of instant triple talaq enabled the husband to unilaterally terminate the matrimonial relationship without a cause, he said. “The defaulting husband could even take advantage of his own wrong and terminate the relationship. This injustice and oppression on female spouse and virtually left her remedy-less,” he said, adding that it was being contended over the last several decades that this practice has become obsolete. Jaitley said many parts of the Islamic world themselves have rejected triple talaq and “ordinarily the reform of this kind should have arisen from within the community itself”, but there were some who were reluctant.
“The decision which has come on 70th year of independence is a very progressive one and it should be welcomed by all section of the society,” he said. Jaitley lauded the women from the community who came forward to oppose triple talaq. “I think the Supreme Court has stepped in at the right time. The majority view of the SC is absolutely clear that this instance pronouncement is not fundamental to the religion itself. “It is not an essential part of the religion and therefore it is discriminatory, it compromises the dignity of women itself and being violative of constitutional guarantees itself is void,” he said.