THE All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Sunday urged the Central government to withhold and withdraw its Bill to outlaw instant triple talaq, stating that it was against the principles of Shariah and an interference in Muslim personal law.
At the end of an emergency meeting here over the issue, the AIMPLB called the Bill “dangerous” and said it would oppose it at all levels and make people aware that neither it nor other “true representatives” of Muslims were consulted before preparing the legislation.
The AIMPLB president, Maulana Rabe Hasani Nadwi, would be conveying its stand to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Board said.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill gives legal right to Muslim women against talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq. Cleared by the Cabinet, the Bill will be introduced by the government in Parliament next week.
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The Bill sets out the consequences of talaq-e-biddat, the criminality attached to it and its consequences, along with the right of custody of minor children. The Indian Express reported last week that it will make triple talaq a cognizable and non-bailable offence, and has a provision for a three-year jail term and fine for any Muslim man who divorces his wife by uttering talaq three times in quick succession.
“On Sunday, the Board examined the Bill at its emergency meeting and found that its consequences are against the welfare of Muslim women at large, and shall harm the interests of Muslim women and families. It is against the principles of Shariah and an interference in Muslim personal law,” AIMPLB spokesperson Maulana Khalilur Rahman Sajjad Nomani said, refuting the stated objective of the legislation of protecting the rights of married Muslim women.
He said the terms of the proposed Bill also encroach upon the guarantees given in the Constitution to religious denominations, as well as go against the essence of the Supreme Court judgment on August 22 that banned instant triple talaq.
But the government rationale behind bringing the Bill is that the practice of instant triple talaq had not stopped despite the Supreme Court order, and that the AIMPLB had not been able to do anything on the issue despite its assurances.
Nomani questioned this too on Sunday, saying, “A ‘non-legal’, ‘ineffective action’, which does not lead to giving effect to talaq as per the Supreme Court judgment, has been converted into serious criminal charges leading to destroying the future of women and children.”
“Masla triple talaq ka nahin hai. Balki sire se Muslim husband se talaq ke rights ko badi had tak chheen lene ka ek… jabardast saazish hai. Bahut khatarnak kism ka Bill banaya gaya hai. Muslim Personal Law Board dil se ye chahta hai aur baar-baar hum is stand ko clearly keh chuke hain ki hum ek waqt mein teen talaq ke riwaz ko rokna chahte hain (The issue is not of triple talaq. Instead, it is a big conspiracy to systematically and substantially take away the rights of talaq itself from a Muslim husband. The Muslim Personal Law Board wants this from the heart and we have also made our stand clear several times that we want to stop the practice of instant triple talaq),” Nomani said.
“This proposed law is going to affect Muslims at large, the effect would be against Muslim women and children, and it encroaches upon the fundamental right of equality set out in the Constitution of India,” added Nomani, who said the proposed provisions also run counter to existing legislations relating to guardianship, domestic violence, CrPC etc.
Nomani said that while drafting the Bill, the parliamentary procedure of lawmaking too had been ignored, because neither the stakeholders nor the affected parties nor women organisations had been consulted, while they could have laid out the actual position on the ground, the correct position of the law, the adverse consequences of the proposed law, and the effect on the welfare of women and chldren.
He said if the government considered it necessary to enact such a law, it should have held talks with the AIMPLB and other representatives of Muslim women etc.
Reacting to the AIMPLB objections, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said, “Such meetings will not affect the Bill. Muslim organisations should rather praise the Prime Minister for bringing such a Bill.”25
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