The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has urged members of the community to start a social boycott of those who have pronounced triple talaq in one go “so that such incidents may be minimised”, the Board told the Supreme Court in an affidavit on Monday.
The affidavit, filed by AIMPLB Secretary Mohammed Fazlurrahim, also placed on record its promise to the court to include enabling provisions in the nikahnama (marriage contract) which will allow a Muslim woman to extract assurance against triple talaq from her prospective husband.
“The All India Muslim Personal Law Board will issue an advisory through its Website, Publications and Social Media Platforms and thereby advise the persons who perform ‘Nikah’ (marriage) and request them to do the following: (a) At the time of performing ‘Nikah’ (Marriage), the person performing the ‘Nikah’ will advise the Bridegroom/Man that in case of differences leading to Talaq the Bridegroom/Man shall not pronounce three divorces in one sitting since it is an undesirable practice in Shariat; and (b) That at the time of performing Nikah, the person performing the Nikah will advise both the Bridegroom/Man and the Bride/Woman to incorporate a condition in the ‘Nikahnama’ to exclude resorting to pronouncement of three divorces by her husband in one sitting,” the affidavit said.
The Board also placed on record resolutions adopted by it at a meeting held on April 14, 15 and 16 last year. The “resolution regarding divorce” dated April 16, 2016 said “the stand of Shariat is clear about divorce that the pronouncement of divorce without any reason and that three divorces in one go are not the correct methods of pronouncement of divorce. Such a practice is strongly condemned by the Shariat.”
The Board will, therefore, start a “grand public movement for desisting the people from pronouncing divorce without any reason and that in case of necessity only one divorce should be resorted to and in any case three divorces in one go should not be resorted to. Every effort should be made to convey this message to all the segments of Muslims especially to the poor population and the help of Imams and orators of the mosques should be called for”, it added.
The meeting also decided that “those who resort to triple divorce in one go leading to the creation of problems thereafter should be boycotted by the Muslims. This social boycott will be much helpful in decreasing the incidents of divorce”.
The Board also released a set of guidelines to be followed by husbands and wives in the matter of divorce. The guidelines stress on mutual resolution but lay down that in case that does not happen even after intervention of family elders, divorce may be resorted to but the pronouncement of divorce should only be one.
Hearing a batch of seven petitions challenging the contentious practise, the SC had on May 17 asked the Board if it was possible to include provisions in the nikahnama to enable a Muslim wife to say no to triple talaq. A day later, the Board, through counsel Kapil Sibal, assured the court that such changes could be made and that it will instruct
religious functionaries who conduct the marriage to advise the bride and groom accordingly.
Senior counsel Amit Singh Chadha appearing for petitioner Shayara Bano, however, expressed doubts on the proposal to make changes in the nikahnama: “It will not solve our problems because married women will still have to go to court (in case talaq was pronounced)”. Advocate and co-petitioner Farah Fayaz also qustioned the qualifications of a Kazi and how they can be allowed to sit in judgment on the lives of women.