Sunday 23 June 2019

Triple Talaq Judgment

Applying the test of manifest arbitrariness to the case at hand, it is clear that Triple Talaq is a form of Talaq which is itself considered to be something innovative, namely, that it is not in the Sunna, being an irregular or heretical form of Talaq. We have noticed how in Fyzee's book (supra), the Hanafi school of Shariat law, which itself recognizes this form of Talaq, specifically states that though lawful it is sinful in that it incurs the wrath of God. Indeed, in Shamim Ara v. State of U.P., MANU/SC/0850/2002 : (2002) 7 SCC 518, this Court after referring to a number of authorities including certain recent High Court judgments held as under:

13...The correct law of talaq as ordained by the Holy Quran is that talaq must be for a reasonable cause and be preceded by attempts at reconciliation between the husband and the wife by two arbiters -- one from the wife's family and the other from the husband's; if the attempts fail, talaq may be effected (para 13). In Rukia Khatun case [MANU/GH/0031/1979 : (1981) 1 Gau LR 375] the Division Bench stated that the correct law of talaq, as ordained by the Holy Quran, is: (i) that "talaq" must be for a reasonable cause; and (ii) that it must be preceded by an attempt of reconciliation between the husband and the wife by two arbiters, one chosen by the wife from her family and the other by the husband from his. If their attempts fail, "talaq" may be effected. The Division Bench expressly recorded its dissent from the Calcutta and Bombay views which, in their opinion, did not lay down the correct law.

14. We are in respectful agreement with the abovesaid observations made by the learned Judges of the High Courts.

(at page 526)

284. Given the fact that Triple Talaq is instant and irrevocable, it is obvious that any attempt at reconciliation between the husband and wife by two arbiters from their families, which is essential to save the marital tie, cannot ever take place. Also, as understood by the Privy Council in Rashid Ahmad (supra), such Triple Talaq is valid even if it is not for any reasonable cause, which view of the law no longer holds good after Shamim Ara (supra). This being the case, it is clear that this form of Talaq is manifestly arbitrary in the sense that the marital tie can be broken capriciously and whimsically by a Muslim man without any attempt at reconciliation so as to save it. This form of Talaq must, therefore, be held to be violative of the fundamental right contained Under Article 14 of the Constitution of India. In our opinion, therefore, the 1937 Act, insofar as it seeks to recognize and enforce Triple Talaq, is within the meaning of the expression "laws in force" in Article 13(1) and must be struck down as being void to the extent that it recognizes and enforces Triple Talaq. Since we have declared Section 2 of the 1937 Act to be void to the extent indicated above on the narrower ground of it being manifestly arbitrary, we do not find the need to go into the ground of discrimination in these cases, as was argued by the learned Attorney General and those supporting him.


In view of the different opinions recorded, by a majority of 3:2 the practice of 'talaq-e-biddat'-triple talaq is set aside.


Writ Petition (C) Nos. 118, 288, 327, 665 of 2016, 43 of 2017 and Suo Motu Writ (C) No. 2 of 2015 (Under Article 32 of the Constitution of India)

Decided On: 22.08.2017

 Shayara Bano Vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
J.S. Khehar, C.J.I., Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Fali Nariman, U.U. Lalit and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ.
Citation: (2017)9 SCC 1
Read full judgment here: Click here

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