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Triple talaq: The road to abolition of instant divorce

Last updated on: August 22, 2017 13:52 IST

The Supreme Court by a majority verdict on Tuesday declared that triple talaq was void, illegal and unconstitutional.

Following is the chronology of events:

October 16, 2015: SC bench asks chief justice of India to set up an appropriate bench to examine if Muslim women face gender discrimination in divorce cases while dealing with a case of Hindu succession.

February 5, 2016: SC asks then Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to assist it on the pleas challenging constitutional validity of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy.

March 28: SC asks Centre to file report of a high-level panel on 'Women and the law: An assessment of family laws with focus on laws relating to marriage, divorce, custody, inheritance and succession'. SC impleads various organisations, including All India Muslim Personal Law Board, as parties in the suo motu matter.

June 29: SC says triple talaq among Muslims will be tested on 'touchstone of constitutional framework'.

October 7: For the first time in India's constitutional history, Centre opposes in SC these practises and favours a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.

February 14, 2017: The SC allows various interlocutory pleas to be tagged along with the main matter.

February 16: The SC says a five-judge constitution bench would be set up to hear and decide the challenge to triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy.

March 27: AIMPLB tells SC pleas were not maintainable as the issues fall outside judiciary's realm.

March 30: SC says these issues are 'very important' and involve 'sentiments' and says a constitution bench would start hearing it from May 11.

May 11: SC says it would examine whether the practice of triple talaq among Muslims is fundamental to their religion.

May 12: SC says the practice of triple talaq was the 'worst' and 'not desirable' form of dissolution of marriages among Muslims.

May 15: Centre tells the SC that it will bring new law to regulate marriage and divorce among the Muslim community if triple talaq struck down. The SC says it would examine whether triple talaq was an essential part of religion under Article 25 of Constitution.

May 16: The AIMPLB tells the SC that matters of faith cannot be tested on grounds of constitutional morality, says triple talaq a matter of faith for last 1,400 years. Equates the issue of triple talaq with the belief that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya.

May 17: SC asks AIMPLB whether a woman can be given an option of saying 'no' to triple talaq at the time of execution of nikahnama. Centre tells SC triple talaq is neither integral to Islam nor a 'majority versus minority' issue but rather an 'intra-community tussle' between Muslim men and deprived women.

May 18: SC reserves verdict on triple talaq.

May 22: AIMPLB files affidavit in SC saying it would issue an advisory to 'qazis' to tell bridegrooms that they will not resort to triple talaq to annul their marriage. AIMPLB lists out in SC guidelines for married couples. These include 'social boycott' of those Muslims who resort to triple talaq and the appointment of an arbitrator to settle marital disputes.

August 22: SC by majority verdict of 3:2 rules that divorce through triple talaq is void, illegal and unconstitutional and against basic tenets of Quran. Two judges favour putting on hold for six months the practice, asking the government to come out with a law in this regard.

Image used only for representational purposes. Photograph: Danish Ismail/Reuters

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