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SC ruling on Triple Talaq historic, grants equality to Muslim women: Priya Sethi

Minister of State for Education, Technical Education, Culture, Tourism, Department of Horticulture, Floriculture and Parks today said that Judgment of the Supreme Court (SC) on Triple Talaq is historic and grants equality to Muslim women. This decision, she added is a powerful measure for women empowerment.

The verdict has been announced by the SC comprised of five judges of different faiths who deliberated for three months before issuing its order that came in response to the petitions from seven Muslim women who had been divorced through triple talaq. Hailing the SC verdict that described practice of instant divorce as unconstitutional and also struck it down, Priya Sethi said representatives of all political parties besides civil society and especially Muslim women have all welcomed the decision with one voice.

“This is the first-ever verdict in favour of Muslim women,” she said adding that the SC’s judgement is victory for all those who believed personal laws must also be progressive and compliant with constitutional guarantees. This verdict is a step towards gender equality and will empower women. Three out of the five judges on the constitution bench ruled against the “Triple Talaq” law and held that the law violated Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India, which is related to equality, and protection of life and personal liberty respectively, Priya Sethi added.

Priya Sethi added that with this judgement, India has joined the list of several other countries where triple talaq is un-Islamic. The practise was unconstitutional and violated fundamental rights of women as it irrevocably ended marriages without any scope of reconciliation. She said that after 1829 when The Bengal Sati Regulation banned Sati practice in all jurisdictions of British India this is another historic decision which will go down as a great piece of judgement delivered in 2017.

At that time a regulation for declaring the practice of Sati or of Burning or Burying alive the widows of Hindus, illegal, and punishable by the Criminal Courts was brought in by Governor-General of India, Lord William Bentinck, in Council, Calcutta.

The case, Priya sethi said was quite sensitive where sentiments were involved but the SC has taken a historic decision and also directing the union government to consider appropriate legislation in this regard. Though in the initial stage the SC ruling has come for six months, it is hoped that it will give quite a reprieve to the women folk. Priya Sethi also hailed the efforts of Zakia Soman, co-founder of the Indian Muslim Women’s Movement, which was part of the legal battle to end triple talaq.

The minister of state said that this significant Supreme Court’s ruling is progressive because it recognizes that this talaq practice is extremely oppressive to women and strengthens the faith in our judicial system. “This was the demand of ordinary Muslim women for over 70 years and time has come when country not only heard their vice but also recognized it. The current government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi too was of the view that this practice oppressed Muslim women and needed to be ended.