NEW DELHI: Triple talaq, the controversial practice that allows Muslim men to leave their wives immediately by uttering "talaq" (divorce) thrice, has been barred by the Supreme Court until Parliament brings in a law.
Triple talaq has so far been legal for Muslims according to the constitution, but several Muslim women who have been divorced, including on Skype and on WhatsApp, had challenged the 1400-year-old practice.
A constitution bench of five judges of different faiths - Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice S Abdul Nazeer - heard the case over five days from May 12 to May 18. The court had framed questions that included whether triple talaq is fundamental to Islam and whether it is an enforceable fundamental right.
During the arguments, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board described the divorce practice as "horrendous", "sinful" and "undesirable" with no sanction of the Quran and the Shariat. However, India's largest Muslim body had also cautioned that "testing the validity of customs and practices was a slippery slope".
The Muslim personal law board issued an advisory that Muslim women should be given the choice to opt out of instant triple talaq before their nikah or wedding.
The government had backed the petitioners, declaring triple talaq unconstitutional, and derogatory and discriminatory for women.
The government argued that the court should first pronounce its decision on the constitutional validity of the triple talaq and other forms of talaq, only then it will bring a law.