Muslim women in India are petitioning the country’s Supreme Court to ban ‘triple talaq’ as a means of instant divorce, arguing it is unconstitutional, discriminatory and contrary to Islamic law.

A ‘triple talaq’ allows a husband to instantly divorce his wife, either orally or in writing, simply by repeating the term ‘talaq’ – or divorce – three times.

Women are not allowed to respond or object to the talaq, and are often left vulnerable after being suddenly abandoned and shunned by both family and the wider community, while the men recieve no repurcussions, women’s groups argue.

Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Aandolan, an organisation which fights for the rights of Muslim women in India, is among those calling for an end to the practice. Zakia Soman, who co-founded the organisation, told the Independent: “Triple talaq is violative of Quranic injunctions on divorce, it has no place theologically and should be banned legally.

“The gender justice principles enshrined in the Quran should be practiced and the Muslim leadership should ensure this.” She said the right method, as outlined in the Quran, was for the married couple to have a dialogue for up to 90 days, with mediation from both sides if required. She said only then, should issues remain unresolved, should a talaq be initiated.

“Ordinary Muslim women have suffered for too long and they demand immediate stopping of this practice. They are knocking at the doors of the courts seeking help in making this long overdue correction.”