The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Sunday said the matter of triple talaq was not an issue among Muslims and that it had been brought up to implement a uniform civil code in the country.
Speaking to The Indian Express, AIMPLB executive member Dr Asma Zehra said: “The so-called movement against this law has been started to introduce a uniform civil code in the country. It is more of a media hype… the issue is of no importance among Muslim women and there is no need to bring about any change in the laws.” She was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference held against the demand to modify the triple talaq system.
“A lot of counselling is required for women who seek help in such cases. There are several women organisations in Kolkata. We are in talks with some which work at the ground level. We are also mulling the idea of setting up a helpline to reach out to the women in distress and counsel them,” Zehra said.
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“In case a marriage is dissolved, the Shariyat ensures that the rights of the woman are not denied. People do not know about these rights. They need to be taught how to exercise their rights,” she added.
Zehra said as opposed to the common notion, Islam does not provide an easy divorce.
“It is rather an unfavoured and unwanted safe exit when all other means fail to save a marriage… According to statistics, the divorce rate is lowest in India when compared to the western countries,” she added.
“Around 10 crore Muslim women are happy with the existing rules. If there is anyone who feels suffocated under the Shariyat laws, she can get married under the Special Marriage Act-1954 norms,” said Zehra.
The Act was enacted to provide a special form of marriage by any person in India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries irrespective of the religion either party to the marriage may profess.
Asked if there was a need to revisit the talaq laws, as demanded by some, Zehra said: “Taking the matter to court will go against the woman concerned. With the introduction of Section 498 (enticing or taking away or detaining a married woman with criminal intent) of the Indian Penal Code, women thought they would teach men a lesson. But what followed in most cases was painful litigation.”
“Our judiciary is already overburdened. On an average, while a lower court takes four years to dispose of a case, in case of higher courts, it is eight years. During this time period, social and financial problems multiply, especially for the women,” she added.