NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Union government and others on a plea filed by Hasin Jahan, estranged wife of cricketer Mohd Shami, challenging validity of unilateral form divorce 'Talaq-Ul-Hassan' for being discriminatory on the basis of sex and gender, violating the basic fundamental rights of the women, guaranteed under Article 14,15 and 21 in the Constitution.
A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala sought a response from the Centre and tagged the plea with a similar pending matter.
The petitioner represented by advocate Deepak Prakash contended Talaq-E-Hassan also known as Talaq-Ul-Hassan is being grossly abused by the Muslim men, as by way of this form of divorce, the Muslim man has unilateral extra judicial form of power to make three pronouncements of talaq, spread over a period of three consecutive months. With this, the marriage would stand dissolved, without hearing the Muslim women.
She said she herself has received a notice under Talaq-Ul-Hasan sent by her husband Shami on July 23, 2022. The petitioner married Shami on April 7, 2014 as per Islamic rights and rituals. A girl child was born out of wedlock on July 17, 2015.
Her plea stated the matter required adjudication of larger issues related to “Talaq-E-Hasan and all other forms of Unilateral Extra-Judicial Talaq” which are still prevalent and in force under the Muslim Personal Laws (Shariat), by way of The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937.
It was necessary to maintain uniformity and safeguard the fundamental Rights of all such women who are tormented by unreasonable, and unilateral forms of divorce, being enjoyed by the Muslim men, under the Muslim Personal Laws (Shariat), her plea added.
She contended the practice of Talaq-E-Hasan and other forms of unilateral extrajudicial 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," she said.
"The practice also wreaks havoc to lives of many women and their children, especially those belonging to the weaker economic sections of the society. A Muslim woman cannot give Talaq-E-Hasan & other forms of unilateral extra-judicial talaq but Muslim men can. Such discrimination and inequality hoarsely expressed in form of polygamy is abominable when seen in light of the progressive times of the 21st century," her plea stated.
In her prayers, she asked the court to issue orders directing the Union government to frame guideline for gender neutral religion neutral uniform grounds of divorce & uniform procedure of divorce for all.
She also sought directions for declaring Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 as void and unconstitutional for being violative of Articles 14, 15, 21, 25, in so far as it validates the practice of “Talaq-E-Hasan and other forms of unilateral extra-judicial talaq”.