Shayara Bano


Union of India

Writ Petition (C) No. 118 of 2016

Provisions Involved

Art. 14, 15, 21 and 25 of Constitution of India


A 35 year old Muslim woman named Shayara Bano was married to a Muslim male Rizwan Ahmad for fifteen years. In 2016, the male gave divorce to Shayara bano through talaq-e-biddat (instantaneous triple talaq). Shayara Bano filed a writ petition in Supreme Court praying to declare three practices of Islam- Triple Talaq, Niqah Halala and Polygamy as unconstitutional contending that the said practices were unconstitutional. The practices violated Art. 14, 15, 21 and 25 of Muslim women. The petition was supported by Union Of India while All India Muslim PersonalLaw Board (AIMPLB) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind asserted that the matter does not fall under the domain of Judiciary and that the court did not have jurisdiction to entertain a petition challenging the constitutionality of Muslim personal law.


· Whether triple talaq constitutes an essential religious practice of Islam?

· Whether talaq-e-biddat infringes the fundamental rights of Muslim women?




The Supreme Court pronounced its verdict by a majority of 3:2 setting aside the practice of Talaq-e-biddat and declaring it unconstitutional and further directed legislature to frame appropriate provisions.

They held that Triple Talaq is not regulated by the Shariat Act of 1937, but is an intrinsic part of personal law. Thus, it is protected by Article 25. Further, the solution to the gender discriminatory practice of Talaq-e-Biddat is legislative action and not a challenge to its constitutionality. The minority opinion proposed that Triple Talaq be made inoperative for 6 months from the judgement. In this time, the Parliament must frame a law governing triple talaq. However, as the majority opinion has explicitly outlawed Triple Talaq, this directive holds no force.