Former Supreme Court judge and former Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju came out in support of thousands of Muslim women who sought support to abolish the practice of triple talaq.
Almost 50,000 Muslim women signed a campaign supporting abolishing the "heinous" practice, which they termed as "un-Quranic". Justice Katju on Tuesday tweeted: "Where are all the mullahs? Are they not going to do anything against these heretics?"
The former Supreme Court judge claimed that the Sharia law has kept the Muslims backward and that civil code is a must. In his engagement with people on the micro-blogging website Twitter, Katju said that the Sharia should be abolished and replaced by an uniform civil code.
— Markandey Katju (@mkatju) June 1, 2016
Earlier, on his Facebook account, Katju had written, "I am strongly against oral talaq and burqa among Muslims, and I support the demand of a uniform civil code."
This is not the first time that the former PCI chairperson has criticised Muslim personal laws. Back in October 2014, described the Muslim personal law as barbaric and backward supporting the imposition of the uniform civil code.
"The Muslim personal law is barbaric, backward and unjust...it is a feudal law. All countries in the world have one law...why shouldn't we? I support the uniform civil code."
He contended that every modern country has a uniform civil code but no one speaks out in India due to the "Muslim vote bank", citing the reversal of apex court judgment in Shah Bano case.
Justice Katju has been quite vociferous about the topic on social media as well.
The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) had written to the National Commission for Women (NCW) and sought its support to make the practice that "destroys the life of women" as illegal. "We demand to end the practice of oral or unilateral divorce or triple talaq and we have collected 50,000 signatures from women and men for this," the rights group said in their letter to Lalitha Kumaramanglam, Chairperson, National Commission for Women.
The BMMA had found that women want "a legal ban on the practice of the heinous practice which destroys the life of many women and children".
“A national signature campaign is underway in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, MP, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala, UP etc. So far, 50,000 signatures have been collected where women and men have endorsed abolition of triple talaq. Many more signatures would be collected in the coming days,” BMMA convenor Noorjehan Safia Niaz was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
They had compiled case studies of women who have "suffered" the ordeal of triple talaq.
"We are bringing out the suffering and pain caused to women and children owing to this inhuman practice," it added.
The co-founders, Noorjehan Safia Niaz and Zakia Soman of BMMA "strive for equal citizenship of Muslims as enshrined in the Constitution as well as for justice and equality for Muslim women based on the Quranic tenets".
"The instant method of divorce has no mention in the Quran. In fact the Quranic method requires a 90 day process of dialogue, reconciliation and mediation before divorce takes place," they said.
With inputs from agencies