Express News Service
HYDERABAD: Is criminalizing instant triple talaq the only way to curb the menace of Muslim men abandoning their wives? This was the mood that loomed largely among the activists working with victims of triple talaq in Hyderabad.
Though the activists admit that men have misused the provision and abandoned wives at their will, they wonder what good a criminal provision can do. It has been a year since the Supreme Court banned the practice of instant triple talaq, but the practice continues because there are no provisions in the new law to help the divorced wives, says Jameela.
Activists suggest that the new law should provide for a consultation with the woman in the event of a Talaq and be given a say when the negotiations are done.“Triple talaq is a bad and gender-unjust provision in the Muslim personal law, but can a husband be sent to jail for it? How many men will you jail? More importantly, will it restore the woman back to the family?”, asks Jameela Nishat of Shaheen Women’s Resource and Welfare Centre.
In Hyderabad, the largely followed practice is that of written divorce where the husband goes to the Qazi and submits his reasons for divorcing his wife, which are then forwarded to his wife as a notice of Talaq. In the entire process, the woman is never asked for an opinion in the matter.
There is yet another form of harassment that the women fear when assorting to legal measures in a divorce, known as Qula. The married Muslim woman is required to get the Qula documents and give them to the husband for his signatures, asking for a divorce. Also, as per the Muslim personal law, women are not entitled to maintenance money when they ask for a divorce. While it is not required to even consult his wife when a man gives a divorce, the woman has to take permission from the husband she wants to divorce. This, says Jameela, is the main issue of the Triple Talaq law. “How is that just? Why can’t they take a woman’s consultation before Talaq? “ she asks.
Are we punishing men or women, asks Owaisi
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi contended that the triple talaq ordinance would be more detrimental than favourable to Muslim women. “When the man is penalised and sent to jail, he would still be married. So what is the justification of punishing someone when the marriage is still intact? The Supreme Court had also pointed out this issue,” he said. “For instance, if a case is registered under this Ordinance, who will speak for the woman? The burden of proof will fall entirely on her. The man could easily go to the police and say that he said talaq only twice and not thrice,” he said, slamming the Ordinance which says that the penalised person should provide financial assistance to the affected woman. “How can anyone provide financial assistance when lodged in jail? The law also calls for three years of jail for a Muslim man, when the maximum penalty for driving recklessly and killing someone is two years.” Owaisi instead asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce a law for the safety of “those 24 lakh women, who are married, but their husbands do not live with them”.
In a snide remark, he attacked the Prime Minister over his personal life.“The PM should bring a law for those women, who, despite being married, despite fasting for the long life of their husbands and their political growth, are not living with each other. Among the 24 lakh, 22 lakh are Hindus.” He termed the Ordinance as a way of distracting the public from core issues such as rising petrol prices, the Kashmir issue, Rafale deal and so on.
BJP’s Laxman welcomes Ordinance
Hyderabad: BJP state president K Laxman welcomed the triple talaq ordinance saying it would help Muslim women in the country. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Laxman claimed that “Muslim women were very happy with the Ordinance.” Saying the Ordinance will empower Muslim women to achieve gender equality, he hailed it as a “historic decision by the Narendra Modi government.”