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After triple talaq win, BMMA proposes Muslim family law based on Quran and Constitution

BMMA was one among the five petitioners on whose plea the Supreme Court invalidated the practice of instant triple talaq (instant divorce) or talaq-e-biddat wherein a Muslim man could divorce his wife by pronouncing talaq thrice in one go.

triple talaq, triple talaq verdict, instant triple talaq, BMMA, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, muslim divorce, how to take divorce, quran, indian express, india news The proposed draft law also wants ‘nikah halala’ and ‘muta’ marriages to be declared “invalid” and seeks to make ‘nikah halala’ a criminal offence.

The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) has proposed a draft Muslim family law, which, it says, is based on Quran and lives up to the constitutional principles of gender equality. The proposed draft law, BMMA co-founder Zakia Soman told reporters in Delhi, aims at ending the legal discrimination faced by Muslim women in India. It covers marriage, methods of divorce, questions of polygamy, nikah halala and muta, inheritance as well as adoption.

BMMA was one among the five petitioners on whose plea the Supreme Court invalidated the practice of instant triple talaq (instant divorce) or talaq-e-biddat wherein a Muslim man could divorce his wife by pronouncing talaq thrice in one go.

BMMA’s draft legislation advocates talaq-e-ahsan, where divorce is given over a span of three months and with arbitration, for both men and women. It also states that khula, the manner in which Muslim women seek divorce, need not be dependent on the consent of husband.

The proposed draft law also wants ‘nikah halala’ and ‘muta’ marriages to be declared “invalid” and seeks to make ‘nikah halala’ a criminal offence. The Supreme Court had, however, refused to hear BMMA’s plea against polygamy and the practice of nikah halala.

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While terming the Supreme Court verdict on instant triple talaq as a beginning in the right direction, Soman said the apex court has passed on the responsibility of legislation to the state. “The Supreme Court has done its job, it is now the state’s turn.”

In the context of instant triple talaq cases being filed after the verdict, Noorjehan Niaz, co-founder of BMMA, suggested that till the time the legislation comes into effect, police stations need to be told to support such women and tell husbands that divorces are no longer arbitrary.

Niaz also said Muslim women should also be allowed to file cases under the Domestic Violence Act if her husband divorces her unilaterally.

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BMMA will put up the draft law on its website for suggestions from public. It will also circulate it among parliamentarians and members of civil society.

Key points of draft Muslim family law proposed by BMMA

Marriage
· Minimum amount of mehr should not be less than husband’s annual income
· Ban polygamy
· Mandatory registration of Muslim marriages

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Divorce
· The draft law recognises khula/faskh, talaq and mubarah, all of which must follow talaq-e-ahsan method of divorce
· Demand of khula by the wife is not dependent on husband’s consent
· No rights of the wife are forfeited in the event of a khula
· A Muslim marriage can be dissolved both in and outside a court of law
· Make halala and muta marriages invalid. The former should be made a punishable offence

Maintenance
· Maintenance during marriage and widowhood – even when the wife has an independent source of income – responsibility of the husband and his family
· Widow has a right to stay in the matrimonial home

Custody
· Both mother and father natural guardians of the child
· Mother, if widowed, continues to be natural guardian

Inheritance
· Inheritance not linked to woman’s right to mehr, dowry or gifts
· To equalise daughter’s share with son, parents should make a gift deed/hiba

Adoption
· Child can be adopted by Muslim parents under the Juvenile Justice Act.

First published on: 07-09-2017 at 09:26:08 pm
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