SC: Prima Facie Talaq-E-Hasan Not so Improper, Option of Khula Divorce is There for Women

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Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: August 16, 2022 at 20:16 IST

The Muslim personal law practise of Talaq-E-Hasan, according to which a man can divorce his wife by saying “talaq” once a month for three months, is “not so improper,” according to a prima facie observation made by the Supreme Court.

The Court stated that Muslim women have the option to file for divorce through the “khula”.

“Prima Facie this (Talaq-E-Hasan) is not so improper. Women also have an option. Khula is there. Prima facie I don’t agree with petitioners. I don’t want this to become an agenda for any other reason”, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, the presiding judge of the Bench, remarked verbally.

A Muslim woman filed a writ petition contesting the constitutionality of divorce through “Talaq-E-Hasan” on the grounds that it discriminates against women. The case was being heard by a bench consisting of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundersh.

Senior Advocate Pinky Anand, speaking on behalf of the petitioner during the hearing, claimed that even though the Supreme Court had ruled triple talaq unlawful, it had not made a decision regarding Talaq-E-Hasan.

The court asked the petitioner whether she would be prepared to consider that option after taking mehar after pointing out to her that the Supreme Court has in many cases granted divorces on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown of marriage.

The Bench adjourned the matter until August after the petitioner’s counsel seeked more time to obtain instructions.

Journalist Benazeer Heena filed the Public Interest Litigation suit through Advocate-on-Record Ashwani Kumar Dubey. The applicant alleged that on April 19, her spouse sent her the first instalment of the talaq via speed post. According to the petitioner’s counsel, she received the second and third notices in the months that followed.

The petitioner claims that because only men can exercise it, the practise is discriminatory and asks that it be declared unconstitutional because it is arbitrary and in violation of Articles 14, 15, 21, and 25 of the Constitution. The petitioner claims that it is not a essential practice of the Islamic faith.

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