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Triple Talaq verdict: How the dice rolled in the courts



Triple Talaq

In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, in a 3:2 majority verdict termed Talaq-ul-Biddat or instant triple talaq as “manifestly arbitrary and unconstitutional”; setting the practice aside. We bring to you a timeline of how the verdict, which comes as a relief to lakhs of Muslim women across India, came to pass

■ 16 October, 2015: While dealing with a case filed by a Hindu woman regarding her rights of succession and inheritance, a Supreme Court bench asks Chief Justice of India to set up an appropriate bench to examine if Muslim women face gender discrimination in cases of divorce

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

■ 28 March, 2016: SC asks Centre to file a copy of the 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 also impleads various organisations, including the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), as parties in the case

■ 29 June, 2016: SC says triple talaq among Muslims will be tested on “the touchstone of constitutional framework”

■ 7 October, 2016: For the first time in India’s constitutional history, law officers of the Union government oppose the practice of triple talaq in the Supreme Court and move for a review on grounds like gender equality and secularism

■ 9 December, 2016: The Allahabad High Court, in a verdict, stopped short of calling the practice of triple talaq under Muslim law as “unconstitutional” but observed that personal laws could not override constitutionally guaranteed rights of individuals

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

■ 27 March, 2017: AIMPLB tells SC that these pleas were not maintainable as the issues fall outside judiciary’s realm

■ 30 March, 2017: SC says these issues are “very important” and involve “sentiments”, says a Constitution bench would start hearing the matter from 11 May

■ 3 May: SC asks senior advocate and Congress leader Salman Khurshid to act as amicus curiae in the case

■ 11 May, 2017: SC says it would determine if the practice of triple talaq is in line with the Constitution and fundamental to Islam. “We will only look at triple talaq and whether it is constitutional and not go into issues such as polygamy,” a five-judge Constitution bench said.

■ 12 May: SC says the practice of triple talaq was the “worst” form of dissolution of marriages among Muslims and was “not desirable” even though there were schools of thought which termed it as “legal”

■ 15 May: Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the Supreme Court that the Centre will bring in a new law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if the practice of triple talaq is declared unconstitutional. He also asked the court to examine other aspects of Muslim personal law including nikah halala and polygamy

■ 16 May, 2017: AIMPLB says triple talaq is a 1,400-year-old practice, constitutional morality and equity cannot arise when a matter of faith is concerned

■ 17 May, 2017: SC asks the AIMPLB whether a woman can be given an option of saying ‘no’ to triple talaq at the time of execution of nikahnama (Islamic marriage contract). The five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar also wondered if all Qazis can be asked to include this condition at the time of marriage

■ 18 May, 2017: SC reserves verdict on batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of triple talaq

■ August 22, 2017: Judgement Day – Chief Justice of India begins reading out opinion given by different judges on the Bench. For a moment, it appears that since the verdict isn’t unanimous, the apex court wants to push the matter into the government’s lap as the Chief Justice and Justice S Abdul Nazeer favour that an injunction be imposed on triple talaq for 6 months during which the government can frame a law on the validity of triple talaq and have it passed by the Parliament.

However, it soon appears that Chief Justice Khehar and Justice Nazeer were both in a minority and the majority – Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Nariman and UU Lalit – all ruled that Talaq-ul-Biddat is “manifestly unconstitutional, arbitrary” and also against the tenets of Islam and the Sharia laws. With the verdict split 3:2 and a majority calling the practice unconstitutional, triple talaq is set aside by the Bench.

India News

Congress holds nationwide Sankalp Satyagraha in support of Rahul Gandhi



Congress on Sunday staged a nationwide “Sankalp Satyagraha” in support of former party President Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha following his conviction and two-year prison sentence by a court in Gujarat’s Surat city in a 2019 criminal defamation case.

In national capital Delhi, the Congress kicked off its day-long protest at Rajghat and despite the Delhi Police denying permission for the protest, Congress top brass including chief Mallikarjun Kharge, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, senior leaders KC Venugopal, P Chidambaram and Salman Khurshid took part in the Satyagraha.

Senior Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Mukul Wasnik, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Saktisinh Gohil, Jothimani, Pratibha Singh and Manish Chatrath were also present at the protest.

Several leaders of the party’s Delhi chapter also took part in the protest while a large number of party workers gathered outside the venue.

Addressing the protesters, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said that the son of a martyr who walked thousands of kilometers for national unity, can never insult the country, referring to her brother Rahul Gandhi and her father Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991.

Priyanka also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “insulting” Kashmiri Pandits by questioning why the Gandhi family doesn’t use the Nehru surname.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress held a day-long ‘Sankalp Satyagraha’ in Srinagar with former Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir accusing the PM Modi-led ruling BJP of taking “illegal and undemocratic” to hush the opposition.

Scores of Congress workers and leaders also staged protests in various Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat.

In Rajasthan, the party’s state unit chief Govind Singh Dotasra, minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas and several other leaders participated in the protest at the Collectorate Circle.

Dotasra said the protest is against the Centre’s suppression of the opposition’s voice.

The Punjab and Haryana units of Congress also held a day-long satyagraha against the former Wayanad MP’s disqualification.

Both units held separate events at the state headquarters as part of the protest programme in which many senior leaders participated.

Talking to newsmen, Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring alleged that the action against Rahul Gandhi was taken because the BJP-led Centre was “scared” of his next speech in Parliament on the Adani issue.

In Gujarat, state Congress chief Jagdish Tahor, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Amit Chavda and party leader Bharatsinh Solanki, along with Congress workers were detained by the police as they attempted to stage a protest at Ahmedabad’s Lal Darwaza.

The protesters were taken to the police stadium where they continued to shout slogans against PM Modi and the BJP.

In Jharkhand, senior Congress leaders including Jharkhand ministers—Rameshwar Oraon and Banna Gupta— assembled at Bapu Vatika at Morabadi ground in Ranchi to lodge their protest, claiming that the PM Modi’s BJP regime at the Centre is scared of Gandhi’s “vociferous voice” on Adani issue.

Meanwhile, the BJP tore into Congress for the satyagraha protest, accusing the grand old party of protesting against the nation’s Constitution the court’s verdict against Rahul Gandhi to justify his remarks against the “entire backward community” of the country.

Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha on Friday, a day after a Surat court convicted him in a 2019 defamation case and sentenced him to a two-year jail term. The disqualification will prevent 52-year-old Gandhi, a four-time MP, from contesting elections for eight years unless a higher court stays the conviction.

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India News

Justice Pritinker Diwaker appointed Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court

Justice Diwaker started his legal career and was enrolled as an advocate in 1984.



Justice Pritinker Diwaker

Justice Printiker Diwaker on Sunday was appointed the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court. Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath of office to him at 11 am in the Chief Justice’s court.

The swearing-in-ceremony was attended by Chief Secretary Uttar Pradesh, Advocate General Ajay Mishra, Minister Suresh Khanna, Additional Advocate General MC Chaturvedi, Manish Goel, Neeraj Tripathi and other senior and junior lawyers.

The ceremony was also attended by the Justices of Allahabad and Lucknow benches and their family members and relatives of the Chief Justice and working judges of Madhya Pradesh.

Justice Diwaker started his legal career and was enrolled as an advocate in 1984. He was designated as Senior Advocate in 2005 after practising law in the Chhattisgarh High Court. Later, he also joined the Madhya Pradesh State Bar Council and became a member for seven years and a member of the Chhattisgarh State Bar Council for five years.

He was appointed as a judge of the Chhattisgarh High Court on March 31, 2009. In October 2018, he was transferred to the Allahabad High Court.

Justice Diwaker graduated from Jabalpur’s Durgawati University and dealt with criminal, civil, and constitutional matters during his legal career. He also worked as standing counsel for SBI, SAIL, Chhattisgarh Gramin Bank, Bank of Baroda, and others.

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India News

UP man arrested for killing 16-year-old Jammu girl he eloped with: Police



A 16-year-old girl from Jammu was strangled to death, allegedly by a man from she had eloped and was living with in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur, police said on Sunday.

According to the police, the accused, identified as Ashu, allegedly strangled 16-year-old Mahinur to death at his home in Bheem Nagar area of Hapur after an argument between the them.

The minor girl had eloped with the accused from Jammu a few months ago and was living with him in at his house in Hapur.

An official said that the victim’s father, Talib Ali—originally a resident of Assam, who has been living in Jammu for the past eight years— told the police that Ashu had come to Jammu four months ago where he befriended his daughter Mahinur and swayed her to come along and live with him in Hapur.

The official said that Ashu initially told the police that Mahinur had committed suicide, however, after the girl’s autopsy revealed that she was strangled to death leading to the case being investigated as a murder and the arrest of the accused who after interrogation confessed to killing the minor girl.

He said that a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the POCSO Act has been registered against the accused.

Mahinur’s murder is latest among the spree of murders of women committed by live-in partners that have rocked the country over the past few months.

The killings came in to the limelight after the infamous Shraddha Walkar murder case, who was allegedly murdered and then her body hacked to pieces by her live-in boyfriend in Delhi.

The accused, 28-year-old Aaftab Amin Poonawala, allegedly sawed Shraddha Walkar’s body into 35 pieces and kept them in a 300-litre fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in south Delhi’s Mehrauli before dumping them across the city over several days. Poonawala is currently in jail facing trial.

Shraddha was allegedly strangled, chopped into several pieces, and disposed of at different locations of a forest area in south Delhi for several months by Poonawala.

In another similar case, a 37-year-old Nurse, Neha, was slain by her live-in partner, in Maharashtra’s Palghar. As per the police, the accused, who was in a relationship with the victim for the past three years and living with her from the past six months, stuffed her body in bed storage and fled.

On Monday, the Supreme Court junked a plea seeking registration of live-in relationships in the country with the Centre, calling it a “hare-brained” idea.

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