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Muslim's Instant Divorce Ruled To Be Unconstitutional In India

Muslim's Instant Divorce Ruled To Be Unconstitutional In Indiaā€¯

India's top court yesterday banned a controversial Islamic practice that allows men to divorce their wives instantly, saying it was unconstitutional. "We knew the court was in no mood to allow triple talaq", its general secretary Maulana Mohammad Wali Rehmani said. Since all this information is in the public domain, Muslim women in India are aware. "It is high time that Muslim leaders and the so-called "secular" parties paid attention to real serious issues like educational inequality, discrimination in jobs and housing, and framing innocent Muslim youth with terror charges", it said.

"Enacting a law banning and penalising triple talaq will ensure there is no misinterpretation of the court's verdict, and empower women to seek legal recourse", she said.

NPR adds text and email to that list as well, and Al-Jazeera reports that some Muslim women have been "left destitute" after their husbands divorced them via Skype or WhatsApp. But it can unequivocally be said that they must have breathed a sigh of relief with the practice having been held contrary to the Indian Constitution.

He ruled that since the Shariat Act had recognised triple talaq, it was no longer a personal law that could remain free of the fetters of the fundamental rights rigour but a statutory law, which comes under the ambit of Article 13 (1) of the Constitution. Indeed, the burden of promoting equality for women while simultaneously avoiding a fundamental adjustment in the status of Islamic personal laws should not always have to be borne by the apex court.

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Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare Maneka Gandhi also welcomed the verdict and said, "It's a good judgement and it's another step towards gender justice and gender equality". "What is banned in theology can not be good in law", he observed. "Now that the Supreme Court has come to the rescue, it is of utmost importance that the government follows it up with an express law", MRM women's wing convener Shahnaz Afzal said. "What is banned in Quran can not be good in Shariat". As many as 22 Muslim countries - including Pakistan and Bangladesh - or their provinces have abolished triple talaq either explicitly or implicitly.

India is home to almost 200 million Muslims - the largest minority in a Hindu-majority country of 1.3 billion people.

A Supreme Court panel in India narrowly voted to make instant divorce illegal in a three-to-two vote. Citing the current scenario where Muslim women are protesting against instant triple talaq, Grover, who was appearing for Zakia Suman, cofounder of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, questioned the AIMPLB's claim that they were discouraging the practice of triple talaq among Muslims. According to the Association, 92 per cent of Muslim women want an end to instant divorce. "Few men are trying to take advantage of triple talaq to abandon their wives".

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