HYDERABAD: Days after the Central government shot off a letter to the state government seeking its opinion over a proposal to frame a law making the practice talaq-e-biddat (instant triple talaq) punishable, the TS Minorities Welfare Department has announced that it would hold a meeting with Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mahmood Ali next week. Interestingly, the deadline for the state’s response mentioned in the Centre’s letter was December 10.
“The Central government proposes to bring in a legislation to protect the rights of married Muslim women and to prevent divorce by way of talaq-e-biddat. It is proposed that if a Muslim man pronounces talaq-e-biddat to his wife, he should be punished with three years of jail and a penalty should be imposed on him. It is also proposed to provide subsistence allowance to Muslim women and dependent children in the event of pronouncement of talaq-e-biddat. The women will also be entitled for custody of their children,” read the December 1 dated letter addressed to Telangana Chief Secretary SP Singh. As per the letter, the measures would help in ensuring the Constitutional goals of gender justice and equality for country’s Muslim women.
“I therefore request you to kindly provide views/comments to your state government on the said proposal.”“Considering the continuing nature of talaq-e-biddat even after the Supreme Court setting aside such practice, the views / comments maybe provided urgently, latest by December 10, 2017,” the letter signed by G Narayan Raju, secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice Legislative Department, mentioned.
When the secretary of Minorities Welfare Department Syed Omar Jaleel was asked about the delay in response, he said the department had found out about the letter’s arrival only on Friday night and they will ensure that they hold a meeting with the Deputy CM in this regard by Monday.
However, when asked about the government’s stand on the proposal, AK Khan, adviser to state government on minorities welfare, said, “The letter was brought to our attention only on Friday.”
“The state government will be consulting stakeholders concerned on the issue and we will come up with a response on it over the period of time.” On August 22, the Supreme Court struck down triple talaq, calling the practice unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, which provides for equality before the law.