Allahabad: As the controversy over triple talaq intensifies, the Allahabad High Court has called the Islamic practice of divorcing a woman by uttering talaq thrice as unconstitutional. The court further declared that it is the Constitution of India which is supreme and not the Muslim Law Board. The bench stated that the system of talaq violates human rights and the personal law of any community cannot be above the Constitution.
The order was passed by Justice Suneet Kumar while hearing a petition filed by a woman who claimed her husband arbitrarily divorced her.
“Triple talaq is unconstitutional; it violates the rights of Muslim women. No Personal Law Board is above the Constitution,” said Justice Suneet Kumar.
The All India Muslim Law Board has said that it will study the order and challenge it legally.
AIMPLB’s Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali said, “About the practice being unconstitutional, I just have to say that the practice is a part of Islamic law. The personal law is an integral part of Islam and the two cannot be seen in isolation.”
While the AIMPLB believes that courts have no role to play in personal law of any community as it is a violation of the fundamental right to religion, the Center has taken a different stand. It said that religious practices cannot be an impediment to rights and aspirations of individual woman irrespective of religion she practices. Meenakshi Lekhi and R.K.Singh of BJP have welcomed this order calling it progressive.
Most Muslim women hail the verdict
We are reproducing here the published reactions to the High Court judgment obtained from women living in different parts of the country.
— Shayara Bano, petitioner
Triple talaq is not only unconstitutional but un-Islamic. It is against the Quran
— Aman Wadud, advocate and activist
Triple talaq is indeed cruel and inhuman. It’s a misinterpretation of Islamic laws. All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has failed to provide justice to Muslim women and the observations of the court were the need of the hour — Sheerin Masroor, president of Uttar Pradesh All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board and assistant professor (applied chemistry) at AMU
For some time, Muslim women have been demanding a ban on triple talaq. In such a scenario, this judgement will definitely give a boost to progressive movements rising from within the community. Just gender laws must take Muslim women on board as they happen to be the biggest stakeholders in the issue — Parvin Sultana, assistant professor of Pramathesh Barua College in Dhubri
I welcome the verdict of Allahabad High Court, it’s true that triple talaq is not constitutional and it must be abolished. It is also un-Quranic. It is also a form of biased gender justice. We are very happy with the decision. I hope the Supreme Court also takes a correct decision. Muslim women has taken a strong stand on it — Zakia Soman, head of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan
It (triple talaq) is an atrocity… no law of Allah tolerates atrocity — Shaista Ambar, chairperson of All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board
Triple talaq violates the very concept of gender justice. It should be banned totally as it completely abuses the rights of Muslim women. We welcome the observations of the High Court. It has not come a day too soon — Shadab Bano, assistant professor of history at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)
It (triple talaq) deprives her of rights and leaves her in a very pathetic state — Rubina Patel, Muslim Mahila Manch (NGO)
A paltry amount of Rs50,000 or Rs1 lakh is usually fixed as haq meher for the bride. The man utters talaq thrice and turns her out of his house by giving her this amount, which is a pittance. This is a very good decision but I would still say that every Muslim girl should also get her marriage registered — Safia Zia Hamid, lifestyle store manager
This is draconian and men have been using it as a tool to exploit women. In divorce, both men and women should have a right to take a decision, but, among Muslims, it is one-sided and arbitrary — Shanu Ansari, sent away just 8 days after her marriage when her husband uttered “talaq” three times
Dictates of the AIMPLB, which claims to be the voice of all Muslims across the country, are unacceptable. Women cannot remain at the mercy of the patriarchal set-up that does not recognize the rights of women. The fact of the matter is triple talaq is also against teachings of Islam — Nasreen Begum, head of Urdu department at Baikunthi Devi Girls Degree College, Agra
It is going to be a long fight as this case will go to the Supreme Court. But we are prepared as previously Shah Bano and now Saira Bano have put up a valiant fight for our rights — Shaheena Sheikh, counsellor for victims of this practice
This (triple talaq) is embedded in our Sharia law and we will always go by what our religion says or lays down for us — Jaitun Bi, former deputy mayor, Nagpur