Allahabad High Court: While hearing a petition by a Muslim couple seeking protection from police authorities and the wife’s mother, the Single Bench of Suneet Kumar, J. observed that the view that the Muslim husband enjoys an arbitrary, unilateral power to inflict instant divorce (Triple Talaq) does not accord with Islamic injunctions.

In the instant case, the first petitioner, aged 23 years, and the second petitioner, aged 53 years, claimed to have married as per Muslim personal law. The second petitioner had contracted the marriage with the first petitioner after effecting instant divorce to his wife. He also stated that he has divorced his wife solely to contract the second marriage. The petitioners sought a direction to restrain the police authorities and first petitioner’s mother from harassing them and to ensure their security and safety.

The Court observed that the petitioners, being adults, were at liberty to choose their own partners, but the fact that the instrument of instant divorce was used by the second petitioner to get rid of his wife, was disturbing. The Court also noted that the Islamic law gives to the man the faculty of dissolving the marriage, if the wife, by her indocility or her bad character, renders the married life unhappy; but in the absence of serious reasons, no man can justify a divorce, either in the eye of religion or the law.

However, Muslim law, as applied in India, has taken a course contrary to the spirit of the Holy Quran and women of the community continue to suffer tyranny and cruelty. Nonetheless, the Court refused to say anything further since the Supreme Court is seized with the matter. In the facts and circumstances of the present case, the petition was dismissed and the legality of the marriage/divorce was kept open. [Hina v. State of U.P., 2016 SCC OnLine All 994, decided on November 05, 2016]

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