Triple talaq bill: Muslim women's rights group writes to govt and Opposition, approves criminalisation of practice

The government and the Opposition must work together to bring about a law against triple talaq, a Muslim women's rights group said.

PTI January 24, 2018 08:38:58 IST
Triple talaq bill: Muslim women's rights group writes to govt and Opposition, approves criminalisation of practice

New Delhi: The government and the Opposition must work together to bring about a law against triple talaq and not allow their political differences to stall it, a Muslim women's rights group spearheading the movement against the practice of instant divorce said on Tuesday.

The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) made the appeal to the government and the Opposition ahead of the Budget session which begins next week.

The government is set to push for Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill in the Rajya Sabha in the session, which commences from 29 January.

Triple talaq bill Muslim womens rights group writes to govt and Opposition approves criminalisation of practice

Representational image. Reuters

The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in December last year but was stalled in the Upper House after Opposition parties demanded that it be sent to a Select Committee.

According to the Bill, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband. It would also be a non-bailable and cognisable offence.

"The Opposition and the government need to work together to bring about a law against triple talaq. They can't allow their political differences to stall a law. Muslim women have been denied legal protection for a long time because of abdication of the duty of the elected representatives," said Zakia Soman, co-founder of the BMMA, at a press conference.

The BMMA was also one of the petitioners in Supreme Court against instant triple talaq.

Soman said that if the Opposition and the government could work together on the GST, then they could do so on triple talaq as well.

"They need to demonstrate a similar political will in bringing about this law," she said.

The NGO has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Congress president Rahul Gandhi among others and sent a copy of a proposed legislation to them prepared after holding consultations with over 60,000 Muslim women in different states in the past month.

The BMMA, along with other civil rights groups such as Roshni, Muslim Women Personal Law Board and STEPS, has stated that the law must also lay down a legal procedure of divorce which should be based on reconciliation or the 'Talaq-e-Ahsan' method which prescribes mediation and dialogue between the husband and wife over a minimum of 90 days.

In their proposed draft, BMMA has said that while talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq should be cognisable, the right to file an FIR should be only with the wife.

The group has also recommended one-year jail term for the husband, instead of three-year jail term laid down in the bill.

The women's group has also sought that the offence of giving instant triple talaq be made a bailable crime.

The group also wants that those abetting and aiding triple talaq should be given a more stringent punishment of three years in jail.

The BMMA has also demanded abolition of other forms of divorces such as nikah halala, where a woman has to consummate her marriage with another man before returning to her former husband, and muta, a temporary marriage which can be dissolved at a predetermined time.

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