A Muslim husband does not have blanket powers to divorce his wife under Sharia’ law, and the verbal talaq cannot be valid unless the husband furnishes sound reasons for the same, Jammu and Kashmir High Court said while upholding its previous judgement of 2012. The 2012 judgement of the J&K HC had triggered protests by many Muslim organisations in Kashmir, including some lawyers and jurists who had sought a review of the judgement.
Dismissing the review petition, Justice Hasnian Masoodi said that the earlier judgement strictly conforms to the law. “The power to pronounce talaq is not sweeping, unbridled, but subject to the limitations provided under the Sharia’ law itself,” Justice Masoodi said in his judgement. He said that verbal talaq can be pronounced only when all serious and sincere efforts for the reconciliation between estranged spouses have failed. It is in place to mention that there are hundreds of cases of women pending in the courts at different stages where the husbands have pronounced triple talaq and ended their marriage. Many women’s organisations have challenged these verdicts in the court, and the present judgement comes as a relief to them.
The 2012 judgement was given by the HC while hearing the case of Bilques Banoo, who was given a verbal talaq by her husband after she gave birth to a girl child. She pleaded in the court that she needs maintenance from her husband for her child and that tdivorce was unmerited.