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SC to hear writ challenging 'Triple Talaq', polygamy and Nikah Halala in Muslim marital law [Read Petition]

The Supreme Court issued notice today on a challenge to the Muslim custom of immediate divorce for husbands on uttering the word “Talaq” thrice.

Senior advocate Amit Chadha, briefed by advocates Balaji Srinivasan and Arunava Mukherjee appeared for the petitioner Shayara Bano, on whose writ justices AK Goel and Anil R Dave asked the union government, law ministry, minority affairs ministry, the National Commission for Woman and Bano’s husband to file a reply.

Bano has also challenged the practice of polygamy and of “nikah halala”, by which a Muslim man is not allowed to remarry his divorced wife if she did not marry another man after she was divorced.

The Supreme Court had taken up the law of “Triple Talaq” and polygamy for examination, on its own motion, in October 2015. But the case – Suo moto WP (C) 2/2015 had not been listed until today when it was clubbed with the writ of Shayara Bano, according to a source close to the case.

The All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board, the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, and a high-level committee set up by the central government expressed views against the practice of triple talaq, the writ states. A woman who was divorced through triple talaq started an online petition against it, last year.

Bano has asked for the following reliefs:

- To declare the deed in which her divorce was recorded, as null and void, for being illegal and unconstitutional

- To declare Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937 unconstitutional in so far as it seeks to recognise and validate talaq-e-bidat (triple-talaq) as a valid form of divorce, and validate the practice of nikah halala and polygamy

- To declare the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939 unconstitutional in so far as it fails to secure protection from bigamy for Indian Muslim women. Bigamy is already illegal in other religions in India

- To declare the practice of talaq-e-bidat (triple-talaq), polygamy and nikah halala as illegal and unconstitutional as it violates the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, including Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25;

- To declare any form of divorce under Muslim personal laws as illegal and unconstitutional if the divorce is not preceded by attempts to reconcile the marriage over three successive tuhrs, or ninety days, or any other period of time this Hon’ble Court deems appropriate.

Read Shayara Bano’s writ petition (PDF)

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