Problems with ‘Triple Talaq Act’ passed by govt, say Pune-based scholars
Scholars point out that there are problems with the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019 which was passed in the Parliament on Tuesday. The bill makes the practice of instant Triple Talaq or Talaq – e- Biddat a criminal offence with a penalty of three years of imprisonment
Anwar Rajan, noted Gandhian activist, is unhappy with the decision taken by the government on Triple Talaq. “This government has not given a solution, but presented a problem in itself. Triple Talaq was a civil matter, but now it has been criminalised. That was not the intention. Instead, we were expecting a proper procedure and not a unilateral decision.”
“The new law, of criminalising Triple Talaq, has left the women nowhere. She is stuck, for if there is a police complaint against the husband, and he is penalised then what will her status be?” said Rajan.
The Muslim reformist leader said unilateral divorce needs a better procedure within the law where mutual consent for divorce should be possible for the husband too. This should be followed with discussions which will help both the parties in future.
Drawing attention to the Muslim Marriage Act 1939 under which a Muslim woman can seek a mutual divorce; he felt that this law should be made applicable to men too.
“We are going to fight against this law and draw a new draft of a new law which the Government should consider,” said Rajan.
Counsellor and author Tammna Inamdar said, “While the community has been seeking closure for the idea of Talaq-e- Biddat, the government has just made it complicated by criminalising it with the new clauses of adding three-year imprisonment.”
This would mean, said Inamdar that the women will have to be still married to the person despite been orally divorced. “Also who will take care of her maintenance?” she asked.
Inamdar pointed out that the idea of the bill was to shut down instant Triple Talaq, but the criminalising clauses are unacceptable and don’t empower the women at all.
She said that under the fear of three years imprisonment, men won’t divorce their wives and yet continue with polygamy. “The women would suffer discrimination with no standing for her in the society, there is no option given to the women at all,” said Inamdar.
Professor Shamsuddin Tamboli, Muslim Satyashodak Mandal described the new law as a victory as for the last 50 years, the Muslim Satyashodak Mandal had been fighting for justice for women against Triple Talaq.
“The government has heard the voice of Muslim women. We welcome the bill, but there are still many problems with this bill,” said Tamboli.
“This bill is only about talaq –e – Biddat that is Triple Talaq yet the man has got his right to give talaq within three months without going to court. What we demand is that all talaq cases should be resolved by the main judiciary system and request that until the verdict is granted by the court, the man should not be allowed to go for second marriage. Because this bill bans Triple Talaq, the man can go for polygamy without divorcing his first wife which is wrong,” he said.