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The historic verdict of the Supreme Court on the 1,400-year-old practice of triple talaq which barred the divorce method carried out by simply saying 'talaq' thrice, pending a legislation in the Parliament was hailed by one and all. Called as a landmark judgement for the rights of women, the move made giant strides for Muslim women across the nation.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also welcomed the verdict of the Supreme Court which set aside the tradition of instant triple talaq and congratulated the women who fought for justice.
“Welcome the Supreme Court decision setting aside instant Triple Talaq. I congratulate the women who fought for justice,” he said on Twitter.
Welcome the Supreme Court decision setting aside instant #TripleTalaq. I congratulate the women who fought for justice— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) August 22, 2017
The Congress party called the verdict an “affirmation of women rights” and said that it would give them relief from discrimination.
The current stand voiced by the Congress, is a marked difference from the actions taken by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, father of Rahul.
A Muslim mother of 5 children, Shah Bano was given a divorce by her husband by saying 'talaq, talaq, talaq' who took on a younger wife. Shah Bano sought maintenance from her former husband for herself and her 5 children, which was refused by him. As a result, Bano reached the Supreme Court which ruled in her favour and she won the right to alimony from her husband in August 1979, a right granted to divorcees of all other faiths.
When Congress came to power in 1984 and Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister, two years later they passed a legislation that effectively nullified Shah Bano's victory. The then Congress government passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 according to which Muslim women could claim maintenance, but only for the period of iddat of around 3 months. After the completion of the iddat period, the responsibility of maintaining the women fell on to her relatives or the Waqf Board.
The Act was viewed as discriminatory as it denied divorced Muslim women the right to basic maintenance which was granted to women of other faiths under secular law.