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For triple talaq victims, judicial verdict in favor but social verdict still against them!

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Many Muslim women in the country still live a life of half-divorcees. They are technically still married but practically divorced.

In August 2017, the Supreme Court's five-judge Bench under then Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar invalidated the evil of instant triple talaq rampant across the Muslim community in India. The judicial verdict is, however, yet to make qualitative difference to the life of women who are the victims of the age-old social evil.

Observers say many Muslim women in the country still live a life of half-divorcees. They are technically still married but practically divorced. They enjoy no conjugal rights. Nor do they receive any regular maintenance from their estranged husbands. These women cannot remarry in the absence of a legally valid divorce (talaqnama).

For triple talaq victims, judicial verdict in favor but social verdict still against them!

The Indian state must see to it that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 is complied with, in practice throughout the country. The Act criminalises the practice of triple talaq - a medieval, patriarchal method still in use by a section of the Indian Muslim men to divorce their wives just by uttering to them the word 'talaq' three times.

Explained: What the SC said and how is Talaq-e-Hasan different from triple talaqExplained: What the SC said and how is Talaq-e-Hasan different from triple talaq

The triple talaq, a unilateral, arbitrary tool in the hands of men against women, is not at all Islamic. Islam prohibits crime against women. The Prophet commands that just as men have 'certain rights' over women, they also have 'rights' over men; to them belongs "the right to be fed and clothed in kindness."

More importantly, a rabidly anti-women tradition like the triple talaq is simply not acceptable in our times. Modern India believes in science and reason. Its Constitution guarantees gender justice, or an environment of multi-faceted development for all sexes, including women. India cannot allow any personal law or tradition to have precedence over women's right to equality. According to Article 44 of India's Constitution, the State is rather under an obligation to replace the existing different personal laws and "secure" a uniform civil code" for all its citizens, irrespective of their gender or creed, so that they can enjoy equal rights.

After the SC verdict on triple talaq, the law enforcement bodies ought to have visited the men, who had resorted to this evil practice, and seen to it that they were fair to their wives.

Man booked for giving wife triple talaq over phone from Saudi ArabiaMan booked for giving wife triple talaq over phone from Saudi Arabia

The observers say one could expect a much better future scenario for the Muslim women who have been victims of the triple talaq. There is a fast-emerging social consciousness across the country to reach out to the victims of the evil practice. This is sure to act a kind of enlightened pressure on the law enforcement authorities to do their part in executing the Court's verdict on triple talaq.

(Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi. He is also Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, New York)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of OneIndia and OneIndia does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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