First Post – Triple talaq hearing: Supreme Court may have a ‘diverse’ bench, but where are the women?

Sharanya Gopinathan

New Delhi, 11 May 2017. If you skim through all the major news sites today, you’re likely to see a headline on each site that talks about how five judges of different faiths are to commence hearing on triple talaq on Thursday.

The article will also tell you that the five judges are Chief Justice J S Khehar, who is Sikh, Kurian Joseph, who is Christian, R F Nariman, Parsi, U U Lalit, a Hindu and Abdul Nazeer, a Muslim. Waow!

It’s almost boring how typical this is, no? They took care to cover all their religious bases, and completely forgot about women while they did it.

It’s always annoying to know that any case is decided by primarily by a bench of exclusively men, but it’s doubly frustrating to think that there will be no women hearing such a loaded and important case that has a disproportionate impact on women as this one.

All the headlines seem very congratulatory, even (or actually especially) The Quint’s completely un-ironic headline that reads 5 Men, 5 Faiths: S C Judges to Hear Pleas Challenging Triple Talaq.

That being said, maybe it’s not that surprising. Shockingly, there is only one female judge in the entire Supreme Court right now, and there have been only six since 1950. Maybe Justice Banumathi was busy. Or maybe, considering how often we see the term ‘women-and-children’ in legal documents and even the Constitution, they really thought that a bench of men could just decide for women what’s best for them.

The article was originally published on The Ladies Finger website.


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