2017 SCC Vol. 9 October 21, 2017 Part 1

Constitution of India — Art. 25 — Muslim Personal Law — Triple Talaq: Practice of Talaq-e-Biddat or Triple Talaq (that is instant, irrevocable, unilateral divorce by husband by formula of pronouncing divorce three times), held, is not protected by Art. 25 as it is not an essential religious practice. Talaq-e-Biddat or Triple Talaq is against the basic tenets of Quran and thus violates Shariat. Even though Triple Talaq is lawful in Hanafi jurisprudence (followed by 90% of Sunni Muslims in India and which Hanifi alone recognizes Triple Talaq), yet that very jurisprudence castigates Triple Talaq as sinful. Moreover, it cannot be said that there is no ratio decidendi in Shamim Ara, (2002) 7 SCC 518. It made a specific finding as to how Triple Talaq does not adhere to Quranic principles and therefore, is bad in both theology and law. Triple Talaq cannot be treated as essential religious practice merely because it has continued for long. Practice of Talaq-e-Biddat or Triple Talaq thus declared illegal and set aside. [Shayara Bano v. Union of India, (2017) 9 SCC 1]

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