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India court bans instant divorce

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Triple Talaq

The Supreme Court of India has banned a controversial Muslim practice called "triple talaq" deeming it unconstitutional and retrograde.

However, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has opposed the decision saying that it is a religious matter and courts can not give their verdict on it.

Puducherry Governor Kiran Bedi: "Apex Court is directing the Legislature to do what it should have done long ago i.e. undo the injustice that Muslim Women have been suffering".

A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court, by a 3:2 majority, on Tuesday ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims was "void, illegal and unconstitutional".

It has thus been struck down in effect.

The plea was heard by a five-member bench including Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar. While most Hindu personal law has been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched. The court recognised the fact that even if one person is suffering from the violation or deprivation of a constitutional right, then the courts must step in.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the ruling as historic, and tweeted that it "grants equality" to Muslim women.

The senior Sena leader said nobody should see the apex courts verdict through the "prism of religion".

Various petitioners had knocked the doors of the apex court seeking to strike down triple talaq. "(The ruling) recognises the pristine form of religious practice in Islam that abhors any exploitation", party's chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said. Well, the order comes in response to petitions from seven Muslim women who had been divorced through triple talaq. (Photo: IANS) New Delhi: Supreme Court lawyer fighting against the provision of triple talaq Farha Faiz talks to the press after the court's hearing on Triple Talaq in New Delhi on Aug 22, 2017.

Others saw the development as the first steps in achieving partial equality, while acknowledging other factors and laws that hinder women's rights.

Interestingly, the All India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board has welcomed the Supreme Court's decision on Triple Talaq stating that it will safeguard human rights. The reading of the judges as to how it violates the fundamental right of a Muslim wife ran into a wall hereabouts, and the two judges thought it was prudent to let parliament debate this before passing relevant laws.

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