As the year 2017 comes to an end, December 28 will hold a historic reference whenever one would talk about Triple Talaq. On this date, a bill that criminalises triple talaq was passed in Lok Sabha. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was passed by a voice vote.
The bill criminalises instant divorce with three-years of imprisonment for Muslim husbands after the government rejected an overwhelming demand from the Opposition to refer the legislation to a Parliamentary standing committee for detailed consideration.
While we talk about the Triple Talaq Bill getting passed in Lok Sabha, 2017 has witnessed some landmark and historic judgments given by the Supreme Court. Here’s a look at some of the most iconic verdicts given by the apex court in 2017:
Triple Talaq banned in India:
The Supreme Court of India banned Triple Talaq, the controversial Muslim practice that allows a man to leave his wife immediately by uttering ‘talaq’ thrice. The apex court termed it unconstitutional.
A bench of 5 judges belonging to different faiths ruled that the practice was against the beliefs of Quran and considered it “not a desirable” way to do away with marriage in Islam.
Sex with a minor wife is rape:
In October this year, Supreme Court ruled that sex with a wife who’s less than 18-years-old is rape and would be considered a crime. In the ruling, the Court also said that exempting married women aged between 15 and 18 from this rule is unconstitutional.
In the verdict, the court said that “If a man has sexual intercourse with a wife who is below 18 years, it is an offence. The minor wife can complain against the husband within one year.”
“Exception 2 in Section 375 of IPC (Indian Penal Code) granting protection to husband is violative of constitution and fundamental rights of minor bride”, said the Court.
Earlier, Section 375 of the IPC, which defines the offense of rape, had an exception clause that says the intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, was not rape.
Right to Privacy:
In another landmark judgment, the SC in August ruled that Right to Privacy was a fundamental right. Announcing the verdict, a bench comprising of nine judges said that,“Yet in a democratic Constitution founded on the rule of law, their rights are as sacred as those conferred on other citizens to protect their freedoms and liberties. Sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy.”
“Discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual. Equality demands that the sexual orientation of each individual in society must be protected on an even platform. The right to privacy and the protection of sexual orientation lies at the core of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution,” the judgment read.
Nirbhaya gangrape case:In the brutal Nirbhaya gangrape case, the apex court upheld death sentences of 4 adult convicts who were charged with the rape.
In May 2017, the Supreme Court rejected the convicts’ appeal against life imprisonment and said they had committed “a barbaric crime” which had “shaken society’s conscience”.