In a majority 3:2 judgement, a five judge bench of the Supreme Court today set aside talaq-e-biddat or instant and irreversible talaq as a "manifestly arbitrary" practise, which is not protected by Article 25 (freedom of religion) of the Constitution. "It's a historic decision".
However, the Supreme Court of India declared on Tuesday, August 22 that the practice is unconstitutional and will now be abolished.
He told the government to come up with a new law within six months. The CJI said the reforms should only by brought through legislative action.
The five judges belong to major faiths, including Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.More news: Malegaon blast: SC grants bail to accused Lt. Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit
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Muslim women say they have been left destitute due to the law. The petitions, filed by five Muslim women, challenged the validity of triple talaq (divorce) in the Muslim community. "Triple talaq is a part of our religion and of sharia", Kamal Faruqui, a member of the executive committee of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board which advocates for Muslim law, said. There are some parties, however, who call it "legal".
In the Muslim community, the government had described the triple talaq in three parts Talaq-e-Bidhat, Talaq Hasan and Talaq e-Hasan as "one-sided" and "non-negotiable".
The government must now amend portions of India's Muslim personal law that allows the practice.
BSP chief Mayawati hailed the Supereme Court's decision on Triple talaq. This is an "inter-communal conflict" between Muslim men and deprived women.
The bench itself raised the main issue.
In reply to a question, he said "this is in a way a step towards achieving the ultimate goal, that is a uniform civil code". There has been general discontent among Muslim women who saw this practice as lopsided and unfair but outrage flared when instances of men divorcing their wives over the telephone, text messages or even social media posts gained popularity.