The matter of Triple Talaq was referred to the Supreme Court of India to decide on its constitutional validity and whether it infringed on the rights of Muslim women. On Tuesday the Supreme Court in a majority judgment of 3-2 struck down the validity of triple talaq and banned it for six months till parliament enacted a law. The judgment has been hailed by Muslim women who had for decades been agitating against this obnoxious provision of Muslim Personal Law. The ultra right Muslim world led by the Mullahs and some politicians notably the Congress party, still intent on a vote bank have opposed this judgment.

The judgment, however, will not give joy as one can see that it was a judgment based on communal lines. The Muslim and Sikh judge, who is also the Chief justice upheld triple talaq as valid but the other three judges, a Christian, Hindu, and Parsi struck down the action as unconstitutional and infringing on the fundamental rights of Muslim women guaranteed in the Constitution. The Chief Justice Kehar Singh who had himself supported this provision had no choice but to read out the majority judgement. The news is widely reported and BBC has given it prominence.

Modi and triple talaq

The advent of Narendra Modi and the BJP in 2014 brought a new dimension to Indian politics as the BJP in its election manifesto had promised a uniform marriage code and the banning of triple talaq.

This was one of the most obnoxious provisions of Muslim personal law and allowed a Muslim man to divorce his wife by just saying the word "talaq" three times. No witness was required and the divorce could be executed by any means such as email, telephone or otherwise.

Dubious role of Nehru and Congress party

In 1955 the Congress party leader Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru the then prime minister piloted the Hindu marriage act that reformed Hindu personal law.

The law was made applicable to all religions in India except Muslims. Notably, the law gave rights to women and banned polygamy. At that time many criticised Nehru for not making the law applicable to Muslims and blamed his action as an attempt to build a vote bank among the Muslim community. Over the years the Muslim personal law was allowed to flourish in India as the Congress party was not interested in any reform as it suited them to maintain the Muslim community vote bank.


The decks are now cleared for parliament to ban triple talaq and Muslim women are celebrating their emancipation. Narendra Modi has upheld his promise to ban triple talaq and this is a big step in reforming Muslim personal law. Many are hoping that it's a first step on the road to banning polygamy and Muslim men's right to have four wives.