The Supreme Court, in its judgment declaring instant triple talaq as unconstitutional, has cited laws from 19 countries including Pakistan and Egypt which have abolished the practice. The judgment has drawn upon the book “Muslim Law in India and Abroad” by Tahir Mahmood and Saif Mahmood and has categorised countries that have done away with ‘talaq-e-biddat’ as Arab States, Southeast Asian States, and Subcontinental States. The Arab states that have laws against instant triple talaq include Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The southeast Asian countries that have abolished instant triple talaq include Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. India’s neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka also have enacted legislations against the practice.
Here are statutory enactments of some countries:
Algeria (Islam is the official religion): Law 84-11 of 1984 as amended in 2005: “Divorce cannot be established except by a judgment of the court preceded by an attempt at reconciliation for a period not exceeding three months.”
Egypt (a secular state): Law 25 of 1929 as amended by law 100 of 1985: “Article 1. A Talaq pronounced under the effect of intoxication or compulsion shall not be effective. Article 2. A conditional Talaq which is not meant to take effect immediately shall have no effect if it is used as an inducement to do some act or to abstain from it.
“Article 3. A Talaq accompanied by a number, expressly or impliedly, shall not be effective except as a single revocable divorce. Article 4. Symbolic expressions of talaq, i.e., words which may or may not bear the implication of a divorce, shall not effect a divorce unless the husband actually intended it.”
United Arab Emirates (Islam is the official religion): Law of Personal Status 2005, Federal Law No.28 of 2005: “Article 140(1). If a husband divorces his wife after consummation of a valid marriage by his unilateral action and without any move for divorce from her side, she will be entitled to compensation besides maintenance for Iddat.
“The amount of compensation will be decided with due regard to the means of the husband and the hardship suffered by the wife, but it shall not exceed the amount of one year’s maintenance payable in law to a woman of her status. (2) The Kazi may decree the compensation, to be paid as a lump sum or in instalments, according to the husband’s ability to pay.”
Pakistan and Bangladesh (Islam is the official religion): Ordinance VIII of 1961 amended in Bangladesh by Ordinance 114 of 1985: “Section 7. (1) Any man who wishes to divorce his wife shall, as soon as may be after the pronouncement of Talaq in any form whatsoever, give the Chairman a notice in writing of his having done so, and shall supply a copy thereof to the wife. (2) Whoever contravenes the provision of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both. [Bangladesh: 10,000 taka)
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“(3) Save as provided in sub-section (5), a Talaq unless revoked earlier, expressly or otherwise, shall not be effective until the expiration of ninety days from the day on which notice under subsection (1) is delivered to the Chairman.
“(4) Within thirty days of the receipt of notice under sub-section (1) the Chairman shall constitute an Arbitration Council for the purpose of bringing about reconciliation between the parties, and the Arbitration council shall take all steps necessary to bring about such reconciliation.
“(5) If the wife be pregnant at the time Talaq is pronounced, Talaq shall not be effective until the period mentioned in sub-section (3) or of pregnancy, whichever is later, ends.
“(6) Nothing shall debar a wife whose marriage has been terminated by Talaq effective under this section from re-marrying the same husband without any intervening marriage with a third person, unless such termination is for the third time so effective.”