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Triple talaq violates Indian Constitution and Rights of Women: Allahabad High Court

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A Muslim Woman with her child (representational Image), VOA
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Lucknow, May 9, 2017: The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday ruled that triple talaq was a violation of the Indian Constitution and that the rights of women cannot be violated in the name of personal law.

The court’s ruling came as it heard a case filed by a Muslim woman from Varanasi, with regard to harassment for dowry followed by a triple talaq by her husband Aqeel Jameel.

A single judge bench of Justice S.P. Kesarwani also refused to quash the dowry case as demanded by Jameel, who contended that he has divorced his wife and also procured a ‘fatwa’ in this regard by the Darul Ifta Jama Masjid in Agra.

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The court also ruled that the summon to the husband by the Varanasi Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate was valid on the grounds that prima facie the case was a criminal one as any fatwa did not enjoy the backing of law or have a legal sanctity.

No personal law is above the Constitution and triple talaq was a violation of the fundamental rights given to citizens under the Constitution’s Articles 14, 15 and 21, the court said. The court also said that any fatwa that is against law cannot be accepted. (IANS)

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Triple Talaq Now Banned In India

While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched.

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Indian Muslim women talk while walking through a market in Ahmadabad, India. VOA

India’s government on Wednesday approved an ordinance to implement a top court ruling striking down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce.

The government decision came after it failed to get approval of Parliament a year after the court ruled that the practice of triple “talaq” violated the constitutional rights of Muslim women.

Most of the 170 million Muslims in India are Sunnis governed by the Muslim Personal Law for family matters and disputes. The laws include allowing men to divorce by simply uttering the Arabic word “talaq,” or divorce, three times — and not necessarily consecutively, but at any time, and by any medium, including telephone, text message or social media post.

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Triple Talaq continues to plague lives of  women, VOA News

The government will have another six months to get Parliament’s approval for the ordinance to become law. But in the meantime, suspects can be prosecuted using the ordinance.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that nearly 22 countries, including neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned the practice and appealed to the opposition to approve the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill.

India’s Muslim Law Board had told the court that while they considered the practice wrong, they opposed any court intervention and asked that the matter be left to the community. But several progressive Muslim activists decried the law board’s position.

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Muslim women hold placards during a protest against a bill passed by India’s lower house of Parliament last week that aims at prosecuting Muslim men who divorce their wives through the “triple talaq,” or instant divorce. VOA

After the Supreme Court verdict, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government introduced a bill criminalizing the practice and it was approved in December by the lower house of Parliament, where his party commands a majority. But it couldn’t get the approval of the upper house, where the opposition controls the majority of seats.

The main opposition Congress party is opposing a three-year prison sentence for the offenders and wants a parliamentary committee to discuss the issue to reach a consensus. It favors a lesser sentence.

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In India, triple talaq has continued with the protection of laws that allow Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities to follow religious laws in matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption. While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched. (VOA)