Triple talaq bill: Opening pandora’s box

Muslim personal law has sevral controversial provisions on these aspects. The major contention would be custody of children and adoption which the new triple talaq law is silent on.

Published: 31st July 2019 10:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st July 2019 10:06 AM   |  A+A-

Muslim voters

Image for representational purpose only (File Photo)

Express News Service

With Parliament passing the triple talaq bill that makes instant divorce of Muslim women a criminal offence, various other laws related to marriage, divorce, polygamy, inheritance, custodial rights and adoption will need to be tweaked to bring them in sync with the new legislation

NEW DELHI: After several efforts by the government to make the practice of triple talaq a crime punishable under law, the Rajya Sabha finally gave its nod to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill on Tuesday and now only the President’s signature is required for the Bill to become a law that will make instant divorce given by a Muslim man to his wife a crime.But this opens a Pandora’s Box as various other laws will need to be tweaked to bring them in sync with the new legislation.

To give Muslim women a status at par with the women of other religions, there is also a need to thoroughly reform the Muslim personal law to bring it in line with contemporary ideas of justice and equality. But there is a need to modify the laws relating to marriage, divorce, polygamy, inheritance, custodial rights and adoption to make them gender-just.

Muslim personal law has sevral controversial provisions on these aspects. The major contention would be custody of children and adoption which the new triple talaq law is silent on.

Moreover, there are many unintended consequences of the Bill such as many Muslim men, just like Hindus, instead of divorcing their wives, can simple abandon them for fear of prosecution. But with the passing of this Bill, the issue of having in place Uniform Civil Code will again gain speed. There is an opportunity for this government to create an inclusive Uniform Civil Code across genders, groups, sexual orientations and associations.

Triple talaq has been an issue of concern for over 65 years for Muslim women, who comprise approximately eight per cent of the population as per the 2011 census. The 1,400-year-old practice of triple talaq among Muslims has widely been regarded as archaic and oppressive against women of the community. Now, a man found guilty of triple talaq can be punished with up to three years in prison and a fine.

SC held Triple talaq unconstitutional
The Supreme Court had in August 2017 held that the practice of triple talaq among Muslims was unconstitutional and struck it down by a 3:2 majority. The SC bench said that triple talaq violates the fundamental rights of Muslim women as it irrevocably ends marriage without any chance of reconciliation. Triple talaq may be a permissible practice but it is “retrograde and unworthy”, the  SC said. It asked Parliament to make a new law on triple talaq within six months. If law doesn’t come in force in six months, then SC’s injunction would continue, it ruled. The SC bench referred to abolition of triple talaq in Islamic countries and asked why can’t India get rid of it. Most Islamic countries, including Pakistan and  Bangla-desh have banned triple talaq.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp