On Thursday, the Allahabad High Court declared triple talaq to be unconstitutional, calling it “a violation of the rights of Muslim women”.
A High Court bench said that triple talaq violated human rights and ruled that personal law of any community cannot be above the Constitution.
The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) had started a petition to abolish the triple talaq practice, terming it “Un-Quranic”.
The petition was sent to the High Court by Shayara Bano, a woman who had been divorced by her husband via mail.
Bano called this observation a big victory for women, claiming their families are falling apart with the regressive practice.
She also urged women to come forward to fight for their rights and demand equality with men.
New laws should be made as in reality, the condition of women is terrible. That will allow women to rebuild their lives if they go through a divorce.
Who Said What
Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister
Venkaiah Naidu adopted the same rationale as the High Court of the Constitution being supreme.
He said that women should get justice and not be discriminated against.
Rashid Alvi, Congress
Congress member Rashid Alvi said he did not agree with the declaration.
He called the declaration an intervention into the personal law of Muslims, saying no one has the right to intervene in the matters of a community.
Alvi said it was against religious freedom for the High Court to intervene in matters of Muslims, and other communities.
Kamal Farooqi, AIMPLB Member
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Kamal Farooqi said that terming triple talaq unconstitutional is only an observation, not a judgement of the High Court.
He said he does not hold the Allahabad High Court’s decision with much regard and said that the board will challenge the statement in the Supreme Court.
Farooqi also called Islam one of the most progressive religions for women and said triple talaq is part of Sharia law, so it should not be interfered with.
Naish Hasan, Activist
Naish Hasan, an activist for Muslim women’s rights, said she was very happy with the decision as it is a positive step in the direction for development of the community.
She also said the Muslim Law Board is not an authority like the courts.
Zeenat Shaukat Ali, Activist
Another activist, Zeenat Shaukat Ali, lauded it as a “historic judgement”.
On the question of the court’s observation impinging on religious freedom, she said that people have the right to practice their religion freely, “but the triple talaq can go from it and yet, it won’t affect how Muslims practice their religion”.
She said it was unfortunate that women have not come under the purview of the Muslim Law Board so far and also quoted the board calling triple talaq “heretical”.
RK Singh, BJP
BJP MP RK Singh called the move a progressive one, saying “only some orthodox people are objecting it.”
Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP
BJP’s national spokesperson Meenkashi Lekhi called the move a progressive one, which should be welcomed by all, regardless of political affiliations.
She also said that India is a country without the Sharia. “People’s heads/hands would be cut off,” had it been in place, she said.
Decision will benefit Muslim community.
Renuka Chowdhury, Congress
This should have happened long ago, I am happy that my Muslim sisters will have more rights in life. Muslim women will have a little more security, dignity to their lives. It’s an idea that has come of age.
Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, Muslim Cleric
We respect the High Court’s verdict, but we have the constitutional right to appeal against the verdict if we are not satisfied. AIMPLB’s legal committee will study the verdict and observation and then it will file its appeal against the said verdict. I don’t think it’s unconstitutional; if few people misuse the law, you take action against them and not remove the law.