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The SC has declared practice of instant triple talaq as unconstitutional. It has been India for centuries amongst muslims. As a result of this practice, thousands of muslim women have been facing difficulties and it was on their petition that SC has given the verdict. The majority of the judgement has legally struck it down.
Validity of pronouncement– The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 recognizes the law of sharia- muslim personal law. The law says that law of shariat has legal sanction. Because of that, triple talaq also had legal sanction. As it has legal sanctions, it cannot be arbitrary. Also, since this law is within the meaning of article 13, it can be dealt by courts. It can be tested on the touchstone of constitutional principle and provisions.
The entire practice is arbitrary and violative of art 14 of constitution.
The whole of shariat is subject to the constitutional test. And it will be evaluated on the constitutional parameters. When it comes to personal law, art 25 will come in.
This judgement has shown that shariat is thought to be sometimes equivalent to Quranic injunction. However, sharia is a codification in light of Quran and hence it is subject to various interpretation. Sharia laws are not Quranic law in essence. They can vary in interpretations and there are various schools.
The judges have said that once the Quran says its sinful, it cannot be permissible under Islamic law. Despite that it has been in practice for centuries because it has suited the male dominated society and nobody would challenge it.
Issues to be considered further
The instant form of triple talaq is declared unconstitutional. But many issues such as polygamy, halala, and maintenance has not been touched. These issues are complex, to study them, to have all their consequences. It is not easy to deal with all the issues by one constitution bench.
Misogyny is prevalent for centuries in every society or religion. But then it shouldn’t mean it should continue and patriarchal mindest should remain.
How it is going to impact muslim women?
A muslim male in a mental state of anger or instability can just pronounce talaq and get out of marriage. It was actually a question of human rights which was not exactly dealt with. Hence, the human rights of women had to be protected. It will have psychological effect on muslim women. This law has been there because of male dominated society. Now the women can be assured that the constitutional law can come to their rescue. SC said “triple talaq violates fundamental right of Muslim women as it irrevocably ends marriage”. Hence, the court has told this practice as retrograde and unworthy of protection. Something that is not Quranically accepted, it cannot be also legally accepted.
Introduction of UCC should be considered?
India has to go towards UCC which the founding fathers asked to do. There should be a society where religion is a personal matter and it cannot affect to other human being. No other person should be affected by the religion. This is the meaning of secularism.
A large number of countries in world have laws related to marriage and property which are uniform. The consequences of marriage or divorce should be same for everybody.
Thus, the entire debate about personal laws and various types of personal laws of various religious groups in India have to be considered under UCC.
UCC will face resistance from all religions. It is not that only muslims are resisting it. There are income tax laws for HUF in Hindus, there are separate laws for Christians. Different laws have created more problems, litigation and complexity rather than solving it.
If there is simple law on property and inheritance for everybody in country, how is it going to affect anybody’s religious freedom or belief should be clarified. Just for the sake of few vested interests, the larger mass has to be benefited from the uniformity of laws in marriage, divorce and inheritance.
Women rights are increasingly creating space in male dominated society. Identify areas which speak of women’s fight for their rights and analyse it.
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