World

India Outlaws Antiquated Instant Divorce Practice

India’s Supreme Court struck down a Muslim practice of “instant divorce” as unconstitutional and un-Islamic in a landmark trial Tuesday.

A panel of five judges — representing Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikh, and Parsi — ended the hearing with a 3-2 ruling against the practice of “triple Talaq,” the process by which a Muslim husband may instantly divorce his wife by saying “Talaq” three times in a row, according to The Tribune India (TI). India’s Chief Justice, J. S. Khehar, initially announced that the instant divorce practice would be suspended for six months and that new laws would be passed on the issue. Three judges overruled him, however, and maintained that the practice violated the constitutional rights of Indian women.

“Finally I feel free today. I have the order that will liberate many Muslim women,” plaintiff Shayara Bano told TI.

Bano is one of five female plaintiffs that were divorced via triple Talaq, who brought the case against the practice alongside two civil rights groups. The practice had grown in usage throughout India, as Muslim husbands issued the triple Talaq via letter, text message, and various texting apps, according to BBC.

Neither the Koran nor Sharia law mention the triple Talaq, although Muslim men have practiced it for centuries. Muslim clergy in India decried the practice, but said that the issue was not in any court’s jurisdiction. The highest court in the land decided otherwise.

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