The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response to a plea seeking to declare all forms of instant divorce practices among Muslims as void and unconstitutional, reported ANI.
The move comes after Karnataka-based doctor Syeda Ambreen filed the petition in the top court last week contending that Talaq-e-Kinaya and Talaq-e-Bain are arbitrary, irrational and contradict fundamental rights to equality, non-discrimination, life and freedom to practice religion, reported Deccan Herald.
In January, Ambreen’s husband divorced her through a letter authorised by a religious officer, or a Qazi, that stated vague allegations against her, reported PTI.
“These words are called Kinaya words [ambiguous words or unclear form I free you, you are free now, you/this relation is haram on me, you are separated from me now, etc] through which Talaq-e-Kinaya/Talaq-e-Bain [instantaneous and irrevocable and extra-judicial form of talaq, in a single sitting, either pronounced or in written/electronic form] is given,” the plea read, reported Deccan Herald.
Ambreen in her petition has asked the government for religion and gender-neutral divorce laws, reported Deccan Herald.
On Monday, a bench of Justices SA Nazeer and JB Pardiwala issued notices to the Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Minority Affairs and others, reported PTI.
The Muslim Personal Law in India treats marriage as a contract and outlines several valid divorce procedures. It also allows men to orally, and unilaterally divorce their wives in the form of instant talaq.
However, in a 2017 judgement, the Supreme Court had struck down the practice of instant triple talaq, calling it unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which provides for equality before the law. Instant triple talaq is a Muslim practice in which men are permitted to “instantly” divorce their wives by simply pronouncing ‘talaq’, meaning divorce, three times.