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Indian Supreme Court's outlaw of instant divorce will 'alleviate stigma' - Irwin Mitchell

12/09/2017 News Team

The Indian Supreme Court’s judgment in outlawing ‘instant divorces’ under the ‘triple talaq’ will “begin to alleviate stigmas in the country for Muslim women”, according to an associate and eprivateclient Top 35 Under 35 at Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth.

Mark Hands has commented on the Indian top court outlawing the ‘triple talaq’ practice, which previously meant that a Muslim man could divorce his wife in minutes by saying the word ‘talaq’ three times, and the effect on how Muslim divorces in India are recognised in the UK. The cases was brought forward by five Muslim women who had been divorced.

An specialist in handling Asian family disputes based in the firm’s Birmingham office, Mr Hands said it is “pleasing to see that India has taken this step, which has the third-largest Muslim population in the world”. India joins Pakistan and Bangladesh in banning the ‘triple talaq’ practice. There are 127 million Muslims living in the country, and for every divorced Muslim man, there are four divorced Muslim women, the latest census results for the country show.

Mr Hands continued: “It is important to note that Sharia law carried out in the UK has no impact or binding effect on the English courts. However, Sharia establishments in the UK still exist and many Muslim women are unaware of the difference, therefore never trying to pursue an English divorce upon which financial claims can be made.”

He added that it will “therefore be interesting to see if UK Sharia establishments outlaw the triple talaq practice following India’s decision”.

Mr Hands concluded: “As it stands, these women are missing out on valid financial claims that will help to support them after their divorce.

“While the judgment is a welcome one, a change in attitude towards Muslim women will not happen overnight and will require key members inside and outside of the Muslim community to support a greater drive towards equality.”

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