The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on July 22 a plea seeking to declare 'Talaq-e-Hasan' and all other forms of "unilateral extra-judicial talaq” as void and unconstitutional, claiming they were arbitrary, irrational, and violated fundamental rights.
A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli was urged by senior advocate Pinky Anand that the plea needed an urgent hearing as the petitioner woman has received three notices of ‘talaq’, making it irrevocable.
"Okay, post after four days,” the CJI said.
The plea has been mentioned for urgent hearing several times in the last few months.
The petition, filed by Ghaziabad resident, Benazeer Heena, who claimed to be a victim of “unilateral extra-judicial Talaq-E-Hasan”, also sought a direction to the Centre to frame guidelines for neutral and uniform grounds of divorce and procedure for all citizens.
In Talaq-e-Hasan, talaq is pronounced once a month, over a period of three months.
If cohabitation is not resumed during this period, divorce gets formalised after the third utterance in the third month. However, if cohabitation resumes after the first or second utterance of talaq, the parties are assumed to have reconciled and the first or second utterances of talaq are deemed invalid.
The petitioner, who claimed to have been given such a divorce, contended that the police and authorities told her that Talaq-e-Hasan is permitted under Sharia.
“The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, conveys a wrong impression that the law sanctions Talaq-E-Hasan and all other forms of unilateral extra-judicial talaq, which is grossly injurious to the fundamental rights of married Muslim women and offends Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India and the international conventions on civil and human rights,” the petition, filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, submitted.
It further claimed that many Islamic nations have restricted such a practice, while it continues to vex the Indian society in general and Muslim women like the petitioner in particular.
The practice also wreaks havoc on many women and their children, especially those belonging to the weaker economic sections of the society, it added.
(Inputs from PTI)