October 2, 2022

Not only triple talaq but talaq-e-ahsan and hasan were also challenged by attorney general in triple talaq case

In triple talaq case[1], Talaq-e-biddat (single time pronouncement of triple talaq) was the only talaq form in question. The court even denied to consider halala and polygamy in the case. But the attorney general of India while presenting his contention also challenged the talaq-e-ahsan and talaq-e-hasan as these are unilateral talaq forms.

attorney general mukul rohatgi, as he then was

In this behalf, the contention advanced was, that just as talaq-e-biddat, talaq-e-ahsan and talaq-e-hasan were based on the unilateral will of the husband, neither of these forms of divorce required the availability of a reasonable cause with the husband to divorce his wife, and neither of these needed the knowledge and/or notice of the wife, and in neither of these procedures the knowledge and/or consent of the wife was required. And as such, the other two so-called approved procedures of divorce (talaq-e-ahsan and talaq-e-hasan) available to Muslim men, it was submitted, were equally arbitrary and unreasonable, as the practice of talaq-e-biddat.

It was pointed out, that submissions during the course of hearing were confined by the Union of India, to the validity of talaq-e-biddat merely because supreme Court, at the commencement of hearing, had informed the parties, that the present hearing would be limited to the examination of the prayer made by the petitioners and the interveners on the validity of talaq-e-biddat.

It was contended, that the challenge to talaq-e-ahsan and talaq-e-hasan would follow immediately after this Court had rendered its pronouncement with reference to talaq-e-biddat.

U.U. Lalit, J. (one of the judge in bench), enquired from the learned Attorney General, that if all the three procedures referred to above, as were available to Muslim men to divorce their wives, were set aside as unconstitutional, Muslim men would be rendered remediless in matters of divorce? The learned Attorney General answered the query in the affirmative. But assured the Court, that the Parliament would enact a legislation within no time, laying down grounds on which Muslim men could divorce their wives.

But, the court only recorded the contention of the attorney general and did not consider the talaq-e-ahsan and hasan in the present case.

After this case, the government enacted ‘Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019. In this act, the pronouncement of talaq-e-biddat was made a punishment. However, the hands of muslim women are still empty because how can a person who is in jail can give alimony to his former wife?

This act was challenged and still pending in the supreme court as on date of 4/13/2022.


[1] Shayra Bano v. union of India (2017)