In a significant development, the Supreme Court has issued a notice on a plea filed by Hasin Jahan, the estranged wife of Indian cricketer Mohammad Shami, seeking fresh guidelines for uniform divorce laws in the country based on “gender and religion neutral” grounds. The plea aims to address the issue of unilateral divorce and bring about greater equality in the divorce process.
A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud has tagged Jahan’s plea with the already pending petitions on the matter. This move suggests that the court recognizes the importance of reviewing and reevaluating the existing divorce laws in India, considering their impact on various stakeholders, particularly women.
Jahan’s petition, filed by advocate Deepak Pradesh, highlights her status as an aggrieved wife due to the unilateral form of extrajudicial divorce known as ‘Talaq-Ul-Hasan.’ According to reports, she received a notice of the first pronouncement of divorce under ‘Talaq-Ul-Hasan’ issued by Mohammad Shami on July 23 last year. This type of divorce, which allows a Muslim husband to divorce his wife by pronouncing the word “talaq” thrice, has been a subject of controversy and debate in recent years.
The plea seeks to introduce gender and religion-neutral divorce laws in India to ensure equal rights and protections for both parties involved in a marriage. By advocating for uniform divorce laws, Jahan’s plea aims to address the power imbalance often observed in divorce proceedings, where men typically hold an advantage over women.
The Supreme Court’s decision to take notice of this petition reflects a growing awareness and concern about gender disparities in divorce laws and the need for reform. The court’s involvement in this matter provides an opportunity for a comprehensive review of existing divorce laws and the formulation of more equitable guidelines.
The issue of gender-neutral divorce laws has been a subject of intense discussion in India in recent years. It is important to note that the Supreme Court has previously made significant interventions in matters related to gender equality and women’s rights, such as the landmark judgment in 2017 that declared the practice of instant triple talaq unconstitutional.
While the outcome of Jahan’s plea remains to be seen, the fact that the Supreme Court has taken cognizance of the matter is a positive step toward achieving gender and religion-neutral divorce laws. This development signals a potential shift in the legal landscape and reaffirms the court’s commitment to promoting gender equality and protecting the rights of all individuals involved in a marital relationship.
As the plea gets further deliberated upon, it is expected that the court will consider various perspectives and consult experts to arrive at a well-informed decision. The outcome of this case has the potential to shape divorce laws in India and set a precedent for future cases, bringing about a more balanced and equitable approach to divorce proceedings.