India’s Supreme Court today, by a vote of 3-2, invalidated the Sunni Muslim practice of divorce by triple talaq. In Bano v. Union of India, (India S.Ct., Aug. 22, 2017), in 3 opinions spanning 395 pages, three justices agreed (in 2 separate opinions) that triple talaq is invalid. Two other justices concluded that the practice is not unconstitutional, but urged the government to legislate on the matter within 6 months and would have enjoined use of the divorce procedure during that period.Justice Nariman’s opinion, joined by Justice Lalit concluded:it is clear that this form of Talaq is manifestly arbitrary in the sense that the marital tie can be broken capriciously and whimsically by a Muslim man without any attempt at reconciliation so as to save it. This form of Talaq must, therefore, be held to be violative of the fundamental right contained under Article 14 [Right to Equality] of the Constitution of India. In our opinion, therefore, the 1937 Act [Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act], insofar as it seeks to recognize and enforce Triple Talaq … must be struck down as being void to the extent that it recognizes and enforces Triple Talaq.Justice Joseph concluded that
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