Supreme Court invalidates ‘triple talaq’: Here are the petitioners who initiated battle against the practice

After much speculations, the Supreme Court on Monday had invalidated the practice of ‘triple talaq’ among Muslims. The bench of five apex court judge, who started hearing the petitions of women in May, was headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar and includes Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Natiman, U U Lalit and S Abdul Nazeer. And while the judges, each of them belonging to different religious communities including Sikh Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim, ruled in favour of the women arguing that the practice was “unlawful and unconstitutional”.

And as the Supreme Court judgement comes to a relief for several Muslim women, here are the petitioners who initiated the fight against the ‘chauvinist’ practice:

Shayara Bano

The main plea to the apex court was filed by Shayara Bano, who is one among the other six petitioners who took stand against the practice. 36-years-old Bano was divorced by his husband through triple talaq. Battling several ailments following multiple abortions, Bano received her ‘talaqnama’ by post while she was staying with her parents.

As reported by The Indian Express, Shayara Bano’s petition read, “the Muslim husband’s right to ask for divorce by uttering talaq three times in a row is completely unilateral, unguided, absolute and has no rationale. It cannot be identified with Muslim culture and is not part of Muslim law. So it is not part of religion and hence not part of the right to practice or propagate religion and deserves no protection.”

Ishrat Jahan

The 30-year-old woman, was divorced over phone by her husband who just said ‘talaq’ thrice. More unfortunate for Ishrat Jahan was that her husband also allegedly took away her four children, leaving her to the mercy of her extended family at Howrah of West Bengal.

Earlier, before the apex court declared its verdict, Jahan’s lawyer said, “I did ask her to come, I do not know if she will be able to. She has been unreachable for some time. She lost her four children and her husband divorced her over phone. She fought back to prevent his second marriage. She was attacked and landed in the Calcutta Medical College.”

BMMA

The third petitioner in the case are the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) group, who filed their plea, titled ‘Muslim Women’s Quest for Equality’, at the Supreme Court. Arguing that men and women are equal in Allah’s view, BMMA stated, “We have reproduced verses from the Quran about talaq, negotiations and how it should happen over a minimum period of 90 days. The second argument is about gender justice. There is no ambiguity in the Constitution of India about all citizens having equal rights.”

Gulshan Parween, Aafreen Rehman, and Atiya Sabri

Parween, from Rampur and Aafreen Rehman from Jaipur, are the other two petitioners in the case. Though their lawyers informed the court that the two petitioners are unavailable before the court rules its decision, but also assured that both of them will be present on the ‘Big day’. The sixth of the case is Atiya Sabri, a resident of Saharapur.

By Priyam Mukhopadhyay

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