The five-judge Constitution Bench of the apex court is headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and four other judges, namely Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Uday Umesh Lalit and S Abdul Nazeer. Photograph: (Reuters)
Observing that while there were schools of thought which termed triple talaq as legal, India's top court, the Supreme Court of India, Friday called the practice as the "worst" and "not desirable" form of marriage dissolution.
The observation by a five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, came on the second day of continued hearing on the matter. The court is currently hearing a bunch of petitions on the Islamic practice.
There are "school of thoughts (which) say that triple talaq is legal, but it is the worst and not desirable form for dissolution of marriages among Muslims."
Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who was appearing for one of the victims, called the one-sided termination of marriage "abhorrent".
He said the practice violated the constitutional right to equality since the option of triple talaq was avaliable only to the husband and not to the wife
"The right of triple talaq is available only to the husband and not to the wife and it breaches the Article 14 (Right to Equality) of the Constitution," Jethmalani said.
"There is no saving grace for this method of granting divorce. One-sided termination of marriage is abhorrent, and hence, avoidable," he said.
"Triple talaq makes a distinction on the ground of sex and this method is abhorrent to the tenets of holy Quran and no amount of advocacy can or will save this sinful, repugnant practice which is contrary to the constitutional provisions," he added.
No law can allow a wife to become an ex-wife "at the fancy of the husband" and it is "the highest kind unconstitutional behaviour", Jethmalani said.
The high-profile hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of triple talaq is continuing after the lunch break.
Former Union Minister and senior advocate Salman Khurshid, who is assisting the court in his personal capacity, told the bench that triple talaq was not an issue where judicial scrutiny was required and that women have the right to say 'no' by stipulating a condition to this effect in the "nikahnama" (marriage contract).
The court asked Salman Khurshid to prepare a list of Islamic and non-Islamic countries where triple talaq has been banned.
The bench was then informed that countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco and Saudi Arabia do not allow triple talaq as a form to dissolve marriages.
(WION with inputs from PTI)