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Triple talaq bill must prescribe divorce procedure involving arbitration: Rights group

The rights group BMMA demanded that the bill include the 'Talaq-e-Ahsan' method of divorce in which arbitration is mandatory and lasts for minimum 90 days before the beginning of the divorce process.

Published: 01st January 2018 10:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st January 2018 11:47 PM   |  A+A-

Triple Talaq

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A day before the Rajya Sabha is likely to take up the triple talaq bill, a Muslim women's rights group has written to the members of the Upper House, stating that the bill should prescribe 'Talaq-e-Ahsan', that involves arbitration, as the method for divorce.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which makes instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband, was passed by the Lok Sabha last week.

The bill is listed for introduction in the Rajya Sabha by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on January 2.

The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), which was a petitioner in the Supreme Court against instant triple talaq, has written a letter to lawmakers, demanding that the bill include the 'Talaq-e-Ahsan' method of divorce in which arbitration is mandatory and lasts for minimum 90 days before the beginning of the divorce process.

"The Bill must include the Talaq-e-Ahsan (divorce through arbitration) method of divorce. This method must be made available to both husband and wife so that the marriage is dissolved without injustice to women," the letter states.

While the bill declares triple talaq unlawful, it does not prescribe a legal method for seeking divorce.

It allows the victim to approach a magistrate seeking "subsistence allowance" for herself. She can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue.

The letter has been sent to all Rajya Sabha MPs as well as to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav.

The letter has also been sent to Law Minister Prasad, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

The women's group has also sought that the offence of giving triple talaq be made a non-cognisable and bailable crime.

"Marriage is a civil matter. And just as all civil law violations invite penal action, violation of this law must also invite penal action. This penal action must happen at the behest of the complaints filed by the aggrieved wife if the laid down procedure is not followed," the letter states.

It says that the new law should be guided by the earlier progressive laws such as bigamy law, anti-dowry law, prevention of domestic violence law, which are bailable and non-cognisable.

BMMA has also demanded a codified Muslim family law, based on the Quran, which includes matters such as age of marriage, registration of marriage, polygamy, mehr, custody of children and inheritance.

The BMMA is a national coalition of Muslim women, with over one lakh members across 15 states.

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