What is triple talaq: A brief explainer
The Supreme Court is set to pronounce a historic judgment on triple talaq today. It would either declare the practise as valid or unconstitutional or let the government take a decision on the matter.
What is triple talaq?
Triple Talaq is a form of divorce practiced in India, whereby a Muslim man can legally divorce his wife by pronouncing talaq three times. The pronouncement can be oral or written, or, in recent times, delivered by electronic means such as telephone, SMS, email or social media.
The man need not cite any cause for the divorce and the wife need not be present at the time of pronouncement. After a period of iddat, during which it is ascertained whether the wife is pregnant with a child, the divorce becomes irrevocable.
In the recommended practice, a waiting period is required before each pronouncement of talaq, during which reconciliation is attempted. However, it has become common to make all three pronouncements in one sitting. While the practice is frowned upon, it is not prohibited.
A divorced woman may not remarry her divorced husband unless she first marries another man, a practice called Nikah Halala. Until she remarries, she retains the custody of male toddlers and pre-pubertal female children. Beyond those restrictions, the children come under the guardianship of the father.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), has told the Supreme Court that women can also pronounce triple talaq, and can execute nikahnamas that stipulate conditions so that the husbands cannot pronounce triple talaq.