A day before the Supreme Court began hearing the legal challenge to triple talaq, a Delhi-based institute reported the results of its survey, showing the incidence of this form of divorce among Muslims was less than even 1 in 100.
The Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy (CRDDP) surveyed 20,671 individuals — 16,860 men and 3,811 women — across India between March and May this year. The respondents in the online survey were picked from a larger data base of about 1,00,000 verified respondents that CRDDP already had.
The survey was led by Dr Abu Saleh Shariff, former Chief Economist of the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), and best known as Member Secretary of the Sachar Committee, which in 2006 submitted a report on the social, educational and economic backwardness and deprivation status of Muslims.
Of the 331 talaqs (divorces) reported by both women and men respondents in Dr Shariff’s survey, just about a quarter had occurred through the intervention of religious institutions such as the qazi and dar-ul-kaza.
Most strikingly, however, the survey found that the incidence of the so-called “oral triple talaq” (where ‘talaq’ is uttered thrice at one go, without any witnesses or record) among the 331 cases was just 1 — or a mere 0.3%.
Dr Shariff told The Indian Express, “The survey has found one reporting of triple talaq in one sitting out of 331 total talaqs and khulas. This (triple talaq) is an evil and a bad practice, but its incidents are minuscule, it almost does not exist. The sample set here is of mostly of those with some education, but that approximates national educational levels.”
Dr Shariff clarified that “each respondent (in the survey) had been registered by due process”.
He added, “The most important thing is the security of women who have gone through talaq, not only triple talaq, but what happens after the divorce to them. We believe that there is a due process followed by the community and also, women find it easy to get remarried. The court must take note of this process.”