Delhi High Court issues notice to Centre on plea against order on talaq

THE DELHI High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Centre on a review petition against an order passed by the court last month by which it dismissed a plea seeking to declare talaq al-sunnah, a type of divorce in Islamic jurisprudence, as unconstitutional and discriminatory.

On September 23, while hearing the petition of a Muslim woman who fears her husband will divorce her by talaq al-sunnah, the division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said the plea was misconceived in the light of the enactment of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, which declares pronouncement of talaq as illegal.

The petition seeks a clarification whether talaq al-sunnah falls within the definition of talaq under Section 2(c) of the 2019 law which states that talaq “means talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband”. Talaq al-sunnah, also involving pronouncement of divorce by the husband, has a waiting period.

The petition challenges the “assumed absolute discretion” of the Muslim husband to give divorce to his wife “at any time without any reason and without advance notice to wife”.

The court listed the matter for hearing on January 12.

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