Triple Talaq Bill; A Step Towards Gender Justice
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Triple Talaq Bill; A Step Towards Gender Justice

Author: Thamanna Abdul Latheef   09 May 2018

Triple Talaq Bill; A Step Towards Gender Justice

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 seeks to criminalize triple talaq or instant divorce as the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with most of the leading parties in the opposition, including the Congress, voting in favor, but with caveat. It proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife in any form of spoken, written or by electronic means such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp.As per the law, the practice of triple talaq would be a non-bailable and non-cognizable offense. 

This law gives authority to the woman to approach a magistrate seeking subsistence allowance for her and her minor children. The women, who have been given triple talaq, can seek the custody of their minor children from the magistrate as well. Many predominantly Muslim countries including Pakistan have banned triple talaq as this mode of divorce is not universal among Muslims. However, this legislation has three indispensable features; a Muslim husband pronouncing triple talaq is criminally culpable, triple talaq or any form of immediate and irreversible divorce pronounced by a Muslim is void and it is non-cognizable and non-bailable offense. 

The issue gained proper media attention when a Muslim organization, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), launched a campaign two years back to ban triple talaq and ‘nikah halala’ - a practice where divorced women, in case they want to go back to their first husbands, have to consummate a second marriage. Cases of husbands divorcing their wives through text messages and over phones have come to light afterwards. It's been ages that Muslim women are oppressed in the name of religion. Triple talaq being a nightmare for many, the new legislation will put an end to the practice to a certain point. 

Despite the fact that the bill will lend a hand in improving the status of Muslim women, obliterating such practices seems to be a distant dream in a country where the majority of the Muslim population follow Muslim Personal Law. However, triple talaq has been one of the BJP’s flagship Muslim issues and thus can be a yet another act of political opportunism by the government to seek electoral benefits. Criminalizing triple talaq will not wipe out every issue pertaining to women in the Muslim community. Hence, rigorous steps to be taken to tackle the inequalities and social evils to elevate their status in the society.

By:Thamanna Abdul Latheef C

thamanna@molitics.in

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