Triple Talaq law may be misused - Know how

Steve Phelps
December 31, 2017

According to the report published in India Today, as the law makes instant "Triple Talaq" cognizable and non-bailable, police can arrest husband who pronounces it without a warrant. In its old avatar, it would have perhaps gone with the mullahs but this time around, it is caught on the horns of a dilemma and its spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has announced that the Congress supports the law of banning instant triple talaq but qualified it by saying that it believes that "there is a need to strengthen this law".

The Centre Govt. on Thursday termed the decision as "historic" and averred confidence that it would be passed in Rajya Sabha as well.

The bill now moves to the Rajya Sabha, where it is likely to be approved.

The bill states that the commission will have government nominated chairman and members, and the board members will be selected by a search committee under the Cabinet Secretary.

The new direction of policy is reflected also in the attitude towards the instant triple talaq issue, which has become a touchstone of Muslim sensibility.

"A new beginning has been made which would protect Muslim women from immoral practice of nikah halala", said advocate Farah Faiz, who along with Rizwana and Razia were among those who fought for the ban in triple talaq.

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Sushmita Dev of the Congress questioned if a man was put behind the bars after practicing Triple Talaq, which had already been declared illegal by the Supreme Court, on his wife, how he would give her the subsistence allowance the proposed legislation provided for.

Bebaak Collective - another Muslim women's group which had intervened in the apex court case in support of the plea to outlaw instant triple talaq - on the other hand, called it a "black day" for Muslim women and Indian democracy.

MoS for external affairs MJ Akbar recalled Jawaharlal Nehru had said at the time the Hindu Code Bill was passed that the "time was not right" for a similar law for Muslims. She wondered if the government would create a corpus for providing financial assistance to women, who would fall victim to the regressive practice of triple talaq.

He said that practice of Triple Talaq continued although the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had committed to the Supreme Court that it would issue an advisory against it. He also took a dig at Modi.

However, the BMMA has struggled for a law for Muslim women for a decade, and the non-cognisable provision, even though problematic, is not an absolute prerequisite, Soman said.

Several opposition parties criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for not discussing the legislation with them before it was introduced to Parliament. He referred to the verses of Quran to drive home the point that Islam preached utmost respect for women. True empowerment of Muslim women on the marriage front can happen only when the practice of polygamy is also done away with, they say.

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