By: Jaweria Afreen Hussaini
Why does the ‘Triple Talaq Bill’ does directly hit the Shariah? And BJP announces that the Bill is not interfering with Shariah. What makes BJP say such huge like to the people of muslim community? The legality of this Bill is contradictory, full of loopholes and flaws. Can an Indian Muslim recognise these flaws and intentions of the government? What makes any government to legalize live-in and illicit relationships by introducing such a law? The Government has displayed total disregard for democracy. The bill was not released in the public domain. The Bill was handed to members of Parliament to pass — without prior discussion, not even in the media. Marriage and divorce are not part of criminal law. Non-criminal acts such as talaq must remain within civil law. If the government’s bill becomes law, any aggrieved Muslim wife can accuse her husband of uttering triple talaq, landing him in jail for three years. Muslim Women (protection of rights on marriage) Act 1986 under 125 CRPC is already present. Then criminalizing the instant triple talaq is itself contradiction of Article 3. It is against the fundamental rights. Subsistence Allowance is the offer showed to the muslim women. How can a man pay the allowances when he is in the jail? Any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal. Now when “talaq” is defined as having the ‘effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce’, then how can it, in the same bill, be declared void? Section 5 says that a woman who has talaq pronounced on her is entitled to maintenance while Section 6 says that she is entitled to custody of her minor children. But if the talaq itself is void, there can hardly be a question of maintenance or custody. They only come into play post a divorce. In the absence of one, there is no question of the same. The bill violates the guarantees specified under Article 21 of the Constitution. It also objects to the definition of ‘triple talaq’ in the bill, which, it claims, may also include talaq-e-bain — a husband declares divorce from his wife for the third time in one marriage, but after indefinite intervals — which was not held illegal by the Supreme Court. Khula, which gives a Muslim woman a right to seek divorce from her husband is also a form of taalaq-e-bain, as per Sharia law. As Stated by the Supreme Court, the marriage is not dissolved and hence criminalisation would “violate the rights of conjugality. The move to imprison Muslim men will add to the prevailing insecurity and alienation of the Muslim community. The Family Court Act there is always a chance to save a family but the proposed bill does not give such a chance. The bill doesn’t have any provision for the Abandoned and deserted women. Why??? The Supreme Court verdict says instant talaq shall be void and anti- legal. the aggrieved woman can use the exiting provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and Section 498A of the IPC. The provisions of the Domestic Violence Act are civil in nature but the procedure followed is the one prescribed by the Code of Criminal Procedure. No feedback has been taken from women’s organizations and from Muslim groups to incorporate their point of view. The bill must be referred to a Parliament Standing Committee for wider consultations.