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Plea in SC against 'Talaq-e-Hasan', all other forms of unilateral talaq

New Delhi, May 2, 2022

A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to declare "Talaq-e-Hasan and all other forms of unilateral extra-judicial talaq" unconstitutional for being arbitrary, irrational, and violative of Articles 14, 15, 21, 25 of the Constitution.

The plea also sought a direction to the Centre to frame guidelines for neutral uniform grounds of divorce and uniform procedure of divorce for all citizens.

The petition has been filed by a Muslim woman, who claimed to be a victim of "Unilateral Extra-Judicial Talaq-E-Hasan". The petition has been filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.

The petitioner submitted a complaint to Delhi Commission for Women in February this year and also lodged an FIR in April, and claimed that the police told her that unilateral extra-judicial Talaq-e-Hasan is permitted under Sharia.

The plea said: "The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, by providing for the application of Muslim personal law in matters relating to marriage where the parties are Muslims, 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 plea contended that the Constitution neither grants any absolute protection to the personal law of any community, nor exempts personal laws from the jurisdiction of the legislature or the judiciary.

The plea argued that the practice of Talaq-E-Hasan and other forms of unilateral extra-judicial talaq is neither harmonious with the modern principles of human rights and gender equality, nor an integral part of Islamic faith.

"Many Islamic nations have restricted such practice, while it continues to vex the Indian society in general and Muslim women like the petitioner in particular. It is submitted that the practice also wreaks havoc to lives of many women and their children, especially those belonging to the weaker economic sections of the society," it added.

The petitioner claimed that she was married to a man as per Muslim rites in December 2020, and she has a boy from wedlock. The plea contended that her parents were compelled to give dowry and later she was tortured -- mentally and physically -- for not getting enough dowry. Due to refusal to give dowry, the petitioner's husband gave her unilateral extra-judicial Talaq-e-Hasan through a lawyer, she alleged.

The plea also sought a direction to declare the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, is void and unconstitutional for being violative of Articles 14, 15, 21, 25 of the Constitution.


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