NEW DELHI AFP May11, 2017
India’s highest court Thursday began considering the legality of a controversial Islamic practice that allows men to leave their wives instantly by reciting the word “divorce” three times.
“Triple talaq” is legal for Muslims under the Indian constitution but it has come under scrutiny with reports emerging of men divorcing their wives via letters, Skype and WhatsApp messages.
Several women divorced by triple talaq have petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the practice.
“We told the court that the practice has no basis in the law or in the Koran,” said Balaji Srinivasan, a lawyer for Shayara Bano whose husband split from her by writing “divorce” three times on a piece of paper.
The practice has been challenged in lower courts but this collective appeal is the first time India’s Supreme Court will consider whether triple talaq is fundamental to Islam and therefore legally binding.
A panel of five judges from India’s major faiths -- Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism -- will consider the matter and is expected to deliver a verdict next week.