Triple Talaq verdict: It is about all sisters, says brother of petitioner

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New Delhi | Published: August 22, 2017 8:11:09 AM

The Supreme Court is all set to announce its verdict on Triple Talaq today.

Triple Talaq verdict, Triple Talaq, Supreme Court, All India Muslim Personal Law BoardSupreme Court had reserved the verdict on May 18 after hearing it for six days. (Reuters)

The Supreme Court is all set to announce its verdict on Triple Talaq today. The verdict by the bench consisting of Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, U U Lalit and Abdul Nazeer is expected to be pronounced at 10.30 am in the morning It had reserved the verdict on May 18 after hearing it for six days starting May 11, an Indian Expess report said. One of the petitioners Shayara Bano and her family members will reach the national capital on Tuesday morning. “It is not just about my sister. It is about all my sisters across the country, it is about future generations,” her brother Arshad Ali told the paper on phone.

“The Muslim husband’s right to ask for divorce by uttering talaq three times in a row is completely unilateral, unguided, absolute and has no rationale. It cannot be identified with Muslim culture and is not part of Muslim law. So it is not part of religion and, hence, not part of the right to practice or propagate religion and deserves no protection,” her lawyer had contended in the court, Indian Express quoted as saying.

Another petioner Ishrat Jahan’s lawyer V K Biju told the paper: “I did ask her to come, I do not know if she will be able to. She has been unreachable for some time. She lost her four children and her husband divorced her over phone. She fought back to prevent his second marriage. She was attacked and landed in the Calcutta Medical College.” “We are hopeful that the verdict will be in favour of women. Triple talaq should not have been allowed in the first place. It is high time that this huge anomaly that has gone on for seven decades be addressed. The legal process really is a small part of the much longer process of social reform but it will be a beginning. Our petition, Muslim Women’s Quest for Equality, was taken suo motu cognizance by the bench of Justice (Anil R) Dave and Justice (Adarsh Kumar) Goel and now we are one of the petitioners in the case. We have also submitted our triple talaq case studies to the court, ” Zakia Soman of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) was also quoted as saying by Indian Express.

BMMA’s primary argument in the court has been Quranic, that Allah said men and women are equal. “We have reproduced verses from the Quran about talaq, negotiations and how it should happen over a minimum period of 90 days. The second argument is about gender justice. There is no ambiguity in the Constitution of India about all citizens having equal rights,” Soman told the paper.

Divyesh Pratap Singh and Balaji Srinivasan, lawyers of Aafreen Rehman and Gulshan Parween also said they were not able to the women. “But they will all be there at the court tomorrow. It is a big day, the glass ceiling will be broken,” Srinivasan added. Parween from Rampur, Rehman from Jaipur and Atiya Sabri from Saharanpur are the other petitioners in Triple Talaq case.

Ex-Union minister Arif Mohd Khan, who had resigned from the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 to protest its stand on the Shah Bano case, equalled the practice as equivalent to burying alive Muslim women. However, senior counsel Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), had said that it was a matter of faith and the court should not interfere.

Another former Union Minister Salman Khurshid, whom the court permitted to assist it as amicus curiae, told the bench that the triple talaq “cannot be justified or given legal validity”. He said the practice “was sinful but legal”, prompting one of the judges to wonder whether “something abhorred by religion can be made law by man”Indian Express quoted.

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It was pointed out to the court during the hearing that many Islamic nations worldwid do not recognise husband’s right to divorce his wife through the syatem of triple talaq and that Sri Lanka was among non-Islamic nation  to ban it. The court wanted to know on how Muslim men would divorce if it held all that forms of talaq as unconstitutional.

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