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Supreme Court to hear plea against Muslim divorce practice today

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The Supreme Court would hear on Friday a plea challenging the validity of the practice of ‘talaq-e-hasan’, one of the forms of ‘triple talaq’, among Muslims of granting divorce by Muslim men to their spouses.

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A five-judge constitution bench, by a majority of 3:2 in which the then Chief Justice J S Khehar was in minority, on August 22, 2017, had set aside the practice of giving instant triple talaq, “talaq-e-biddat”, prevalent among Muslims.

The fresh plea challenges the practice of ‘talaq-e-hasan’ in which a Muslim man can divorce his wife by saying the word ‘talaq’ once a month for three months.

A vacation bench comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Vikram Nath took note of the submissions of advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, appearing for petitioner Benazeer Heena, that the plea needed an urgent hearing.

The plea, filed through lawyer Ashwani Kumar Dubey, has sought a declaration the practice is unconstitutional as it is irrational, arbitrary, and violative of various fundamental rights including the right to equality, life, and liberty.

Upadhyay, seeking an urgent hearing, said the third ‘talaq’, which would complete the process of divorce, by the petitioner’s husband would be pronounced on June 19, 2022.

The plea also sought guidelines on gender and religion-neutral procedure and grounds for divorce.

Terming the practice as “unilateral extra-judicial talaq”, the plea stated that banning it is the need of the hour, as it is not harmonious with human rights and equality and is not necessary for the Islamic faith.

The PIL said the practice is misused and available to men only making it discriminatory as well.

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