Why a law, why criminalise triple talaq, ask activists

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 29, 2017

Activists oppose triple talaq, but say govt circumventing democratic processes

While opposing triple talaq, activists in the Telangana Capital have denounced the Centre’s move to bring in legislation to outlaw the practice, saying the government had bypassed democratic practices of dialogue and discussion.

“The demand to declare triple talaq illegal was made by several women forums as they recognise it as a way to victimise women who do not have any back up support. There was no legislative demand even when the matter was taken up at the Supreme Court. The government at the Centre is hell bent on destroying any democratic process where dialogue initiated by Muslim women should have gone to a logical end,” said rights activist and senior lawyer Kalpana Kannabiran.

“Never was punishment a part of the demand nor was triple talaq sought to be made a crime. They only wanted that triple talaq should not be a valid form of divorce. All women wanted was self respect and dignity. However, the BJP-led NDA government has appropriated the Bill,” she said.

Expressing anguish, Lubna Sarwath, an Islamic scholar and AAP candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, described the Bill as a “piece of communication thrown on people of the country from Parliament in a brazen manner.”

Since 1984, Muslim women have been raising issues relating to triple talaq and drawing the attention of lawmakers to various aspects of the Quran and what it provides for. Several judgements delivered in the past on various issues have been consistent. “All it needed was proper interpretation and not a legislation which treats this (triple talaq) as a criminal act providing for punishment,” Sarwath said.

“The whole idea is to ensure that man and a woman live together, and not make the man a criminal. That is where the legislation is harmful to the society,” she explained.

Hamid Mohammed Khan, President, Tammat-e-Islami Hind, said: “There was no need for law to regulate triple talaq as the matter concerns reforms in the Muslim society and is governed by personal law. We believe the law is an unwelcome move and harmful to the society.”

“Divorce is a civil matter. How is it possible to make it criminal by coming up with a legislation?,” he sought to know.

Published on December 29, 2017
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