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Shayara Bano v. Union of India and others (2016) – Triple Talaq Abolished

This topic of “Shayara Bano v. Union of India and others (2016) – Triple Talaq Abolished” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

Introduction:

  • Shayara Bano v. Union of India and others (2016) is a landmark judgment of the Supreme Court of India
  • Case involves the challenge to the constitutionality of Triple Talaq, a form of Islamic divorce
  • Resulted in the abolition of Triple Talaq in India

Background:

  • Triple Talaq is an Islamic practice of divorce, where a Muslim man can instantly divorce his wife by saying “talaq” thrice
  • Many Islamic scholars criticized the practice as being against the principles of the Quran
  • Indian Muslim women faced significant social and economic hardship due to the practice
  • Shayara Bano, the petitioner, was divorced by her husband through Triple Talaq
  • Bano filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of Triple Talaq

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Issues before the court:

  1. Whether Triple Talaq is protected under Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion
  2. Whether Triple Talaq violates the fundamental rights of Muslim women, specifically Articles 14 (equality before the law), 15 (prohibition of discrimination), and 21 (right to life and personal liberty)
  3. Whether Triple Talaq forms an integral part of Islamic religious practice

Judgment:

  • A five-judge constitutional bench delivered a 3-2 majority judgment
  • Court held that Triple Talaq is not protected under Article 25, as it is not an essential religious practice in Islam
  • Triple Talaq was found to be arbitrary and violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, and 21
  • The court declared Triple Talaq unconstitutional and struck it down

Significance:

  • Empowered Muslim women in India by putting an end to a discriminatory and arbitrary practice
  • Established the supremacy of the Constitution over personal laws
  • Reinforced the secular nature of the Indian Constitution
  • Encouraged further reforms in Muslim personal laws to ensure gender equality and justice

This article is part of the series “Landmark Judgements that Shaped India” under the Indian Polity Notes & Prelims Sureshots. We aim to make the articles comprehensive while leaving out unnecessary information from the UPSC perspective. If you think this article is useful, please provide your feedback in the comments section below.

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