The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Central Government in a review petition seeking to declare the “absolute discretion” of a Muslim husband to divorce his wife as arbitrary and unconstitutional without any reason or advance notice.
In Reshma v Union of India Ministry of Women and Child Development, the petition was filed by a 28-year-old Muslim woman who also had a 9-month-old child and was abandoned by her husband saying triple talaq.
Talaq ul Sunnah is also called revocable divorce as it is not final at once and there is always a possibility of an agreement between husband and wife.
The petition was filed through Advocate Bajrang Vats seeking directions to issue detailed guidelines or laws in the form of checks and balances regarding divorce by Talaq-ul-Sunnat. A declaration to this effect was also sought which said that Muslim marriage is not merely a contract but a condition. This petition was dismissed by the court in September last year. Later, the petitioner has sought a review of this.
After reading out the definition of divorce under section 2(c) of the Act, Vats argued that Talaq-Ul-Sunnat, being a revocable form of divorce, is not covered under it.
During the hearing on Wednesday, advocate Monica Arora, appearing for the central government, submitted that while one form of talaq, i.e. instant talaq, was declared illegal, the other forms were not specifically covered by the 2019 Act.
He said that triple Talaq has been declared unconstitutional. However, if the husband calls for Talaq from his wife thrice in three months or with an interval, it is not declared void. The court had withdrawn the order passed by it in which it had dismissed the writ petition and allowed the review petition.
“In the order dated September 23, 2021, we had proceeded on the basis that talaq ul Sunnat is covered by Section 3 of the Muslim Women Act 2009 on the assumption that talaq e is also pronouncement of talaq by a Muslim husband upon his wife by words either spoken or written or in electronic form in any other manner whatsoever. However, our attention has been drawn to the definition Of the term talaq in the aforesaid Act. It appears talaq ul Sunnat is not covered by Section 2 (C) of the aforesaid Act. The matter, therefore, requires consideration,” the Court ordered.” Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh fixed May 2 for hearing the matter and gave eight weeks to the central government to file its reply.