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India: Statement of Women’s Groups & Concerned Individuals on The Supreme Court Judgement On Triple Talaq

22 August

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22 AUGUST 2017

We wholeheartedly welcome the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of Triple Talaq brought before it by a number of Muslim women and Muslim women’s rights groups. In arguing that the practice of Triple Talaq is both, un-Quranic and Un-Constitutional, it is an important departure from earlier judgments on all women’s rights, because it is based on the tenets of equality, dignity and secularism as enshrined in the Constitution.

As women’s groups and individuals we recognise that the current political climate of communalisation and violence, when the entire Muslim community is under attack in India and much of the Islamophobic world today, makes the fight for minority and gender rights an even more uphill task. Hence we extend our solidarity and salute the courage of the Muslim women who have fought everyday patriarchy within, religious institutions and the family, as well as communal forces to seek justice and equality from the courts.

Even as we celebrate this victory as one that strengthens the fight for secular rights, we are aware that this is but one step in our continued battle against all kinds of patriarchal power and the prevailing political order that seeks to convert this into a majority-minority issue.

In our joint struggles for gender justice in all laws relating to marriage and family, beyond the religious framework, we believe that the Supreme Court judgment on Triple Talaq is an important affirmation of Constitutional values of equality, secularism, pluralism and dignity for all citizens. We hope that this will be the framework in all matters of justice for gender and minority rights.

Signed/-

Hasina Khan, Bebaak Collective

Awaz-e-Niswaan, Mumbai

Saba Khan, Parcham, Mumbai

Parwaaz, Amedabad

Sahiyar, Baroda

Janvikas, Ahmedabad

Hameeda, Sadbhavna Trust, UP

Shabina, Vanangana, UP

Muslim Mahila Manch, Nagpur

Sandhya Gokhale, Forum against Oppression of Women, Mumbai

Chayanika Shah, Labia – A Queer Feminist LBT Collective, Mumbai

Vani Subramanian, Saheli Women’s Resource Centre, New Delhi

Renu Mishra, Association For Advocacy and Legal Initiatives, Lucknow

Kavita Srivastav, Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties, Jaipur

Rehana Adib, Astitva, UP

Razia Patel, Indian Institute of Minority Education, Pune

Meena Seshu, SANGRAM/Nazariya, Sangli, Maharashtra

Swati Sanyal, Swayam, Kolkata

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AIDWA STATEMENT

AIDWA welcomes the triple talaq judgment

AIDWA welcomes the majority Judgment in “Shayara Bano v. Union of India and Ors” WP (C) No. 118/2016, in which the Supreme Court has held that Triple Talaq is arbitrary and un-Constitutional. AIDWA has always opposed the unilateral, arbitrary, irrevocable and instantaneous Triple Talaq, which has always adversely affected the lives of millions of Muslim women. Muslim women have been left traumatized and abandoned without any financial or other recourse after this form of instant Talaq, which was increasingly being uttered through electronic and impersonal methods like SMS, Skype, etcetera.

AIDWA through its legal cell has fought many such cases of instant talaq and tried to lessen the agony of women who were suddenly and irrevocably abandoned.

Justice Kurian Joseph of the Supreme Court has also rightly held that Triple Talaq is against the basic tenets of the Quran and violates the Shariat. He has also quoted the judgment of the Supreme Court in Shamim Ara v. State of UP and stated that the Muslim husband does not enjoy an arbitrary, unilateral power to inflict instant divorce as it does not accord with Islamic injunctions. Both Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice RF Nariman (writing for himself and Justice UU Lalit) have also held that Triple Talaq cannot be considered an essential part of Islam and that Hanafi jurisprudence castigates Triple Talaq as sinful.

AIDWA does not agree with the viewpoint of the minority judgment written by the Chief Justice Khehar (writing for himself and Justice Abdul Nazeer), which stays the practice of instant Triple Talaq for an initial period of six months and directs the Government to legislate on this aspect. AIDWA has always opposed the Government’s attempt to propagate a Uniform Civil Code and feels that the present regime may use the minority judgment to further promote the Uniform Civil Code and target the Muslim Community. This Government is not interested in Gender-just laws for any community and cannot be relied upon to bring in a law to genuinely protect the interests of women.

AIDWA is studying the Judgment and will respond to it in detail in due course.

Sd/- Sd/- Sd/-

Malini Bhattacharya Kirti Singh Mariam Dhawale

President Legal Convenor General Secretary

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[ See also full text of the Supreme Court Ruling of 22 August 2017 (WP C No118 of 2016 Triple Talaq): https://tinyurl.com/ybwbgek7 ]

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