The Supreme Court has issued notice on the plea of a Muslim doctor challenging Talaq-e-Kinaya and Talaq-e-Bain and for declaring it unconstitutional.

The Bench of Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice J. B. Pardiwala issued notice to the Home Ministry, Law Ministry, Minority Ministry, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Ministry of Social Justice, NHRC & NCW.

The Court has tagged it with cases challenging Talaq-e-Hasan and Talaq-e-Ahsan, which are listed on October 11, 2022.

The Petitioner Dr. Syeda Ambreen had approached the Apex Court and sought a declaration that all forms of unilateral and extra-judicial Talaq including Talaq-e-Kinaya and Talaq-e-Bain are unconstitutional, arbitrary, irrational, and in violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India.

The Petitioner has also sought direction to the Centre to frame guidelines for Gender Neutral Religion Neutral Uniform Grounds of Divorce and Uniform Procedure of Divorce for all.

It has also been sought to direct and declare the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 as void and unconstitutional for being violative of Articles 14, 15, 21, and 25 in so far it fails to secure Muslim women from "Talaq-e-Kinaya and Talaq-e-Bain" and other forms of unilateral extra-judicial talaq.

In the Writ Petition which has been filed through Advocate Anantha Narayana M G, the Petitioner who is a Muslim by religion is a Post Graduate in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is a resident of Karnataka.

It has been alleged in the Petition that her parents were compelled to give a dowry and later she was also tortured for not getting a big dowry. It has also been stated that her husband and his family members tortured her physically-mentally.

The Petitioner mentioned that when her father refused to give dowry then her husband gave her unilateral extra-judicial Talaq, i.e., Talaq-e-Kinaya and Talaq-e-Bain through a Kazi and a Lawyer, which is totally against Articles 14, 15 21 and 25 of the Constitution.

It has been claimed by the Petitioner that on September 19, 2021, she was beaten and verbally abused by her husband and his family members which resulted in serious injuries for which she was also operated.

In October 2021, after her discharge, the Petitioner claimed that she was dumped at her parents' house by her husband without handing over the discharge summary, medical reports, and records, and was not informed regarding the regular dressing of the wound, due to which the wound gaped and another minor surgery was performed in December 2021.

After blocking all communication with the Petitioner, in January 2022, a prefilled letter from the Kazi office arrived (a common letter sent to all stating take khula or talaq will be sent), when approached Kazi they handed over the letter, telling it is from her husband and generalized vague 8-10 allegations were made and stated due to all this condition, it was not possible to continue the relationship and thus she is relieved from the matrimonial relationship.

The Plea also stated that though the Petitioner tried mediation her husband refused to attend it, following which an FIR was registered by her in August 2022.

The grounds listed in the Petition are-

  • The Petitioner has argued that such extra-judicial talaq has profound consequences on the quality of justice rendered in the country as well as ensuring a life of dignity guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution.
  • It has been urged that the solutions to societal problems of universal magnitude pertaining to human rights, culture, dignity, decency of life, should be decided on considerations other than religion or religious faith or beliefs.
  • The Constitution neither grants any absolute protection to the personal law of any community that is unjust, nor exempts personal laws from the jurisdiction of the Legislature or the Judiciary.
  • Entry-5 of List III in the 7th Schedule confers powers on the Legislature to amend and repeal existing laws or pass any new laws in all such matters (including marriage and divorce). Legislature has practically abdicated its duties and permitted the basic fundamental rights of Muslim women to be widely violated which also affects the entire country as a matter of public order, morality and heath.
  • The Legislature has failed to ensure the basic dignity and equality of women in general and Muslim women in particular when it concerns matters of marriage, divorce and succession.

Cause Title – Dr. Syeda Ambreen v. Union of India & Others [W.P.(C) No. 878/2022]