Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Bill criminalising triple talaq gets cabinet nod

The Modi government has justified its move to bring in a law saying there were many reports of instant triple talaq even after the Supreme Courts verdict Union Cabinet clears bill, makes triple talaq criminal offence
Jerome Frank | 17 December, 2017, 01:53

"A meeting of the office-bearers of the AIMPLB and of some other important Muslim leaders is to be held on December 17 which will decide about the response of Muslims to this Bill", he said.

The government's seeking of a ban against "triple talaq" because it is derogatory and discriminatory against women has created an unlikely coalition between Muslim women and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration as they took on Muslim groups which say the state has no right to interfere in religious matters. He added the current laws are enough to provide remedies to Muslim women. The apex court by a majority of 3:2 had ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims is "illegal" and "unconstitutional".

With the Union Cabinet clearing a bill to criminalise instant triple talaq among Muslims and providing for a three-year jail term, the Congress on Friday said that it will study the law before commenting but oppose it if it violates the Supreme Court verdict.

The nod paves the way for its introduction during ongoing Parliament session. Therefore, legally, at best, the issuance of such triple talaq can be considered as abandonment under existing law, including the Indian Penal Code. "There should be a provision that the person giving triple talaq should not be sent to jail immediately, and the path of mediation should be opted", she said.

The proposed bill, called the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, is a "priority agenda" for the government, people familiar with the matter said.

"The community is indulging in argument but that doesn't mean we will give up our constitutional and legal entitlement". We are entitled, educated and empowered, and we want justice as per the law of the land...

According to Soman, they have written letters to Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury for their collective support in converting the triple talaq Bill into when it is tabled in the Winter Session of Parliament for discussion.

"India's criminal laws and its enforcement systems have already resulted in the disproportionate and mass incarceration of Muslim, Adivasi and Dalit men".

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