Months after the Supreme Court struck down the triple talaq among Muslims as unconstitutional, manifestly arbitrary and void in law, the government is considering bringing a bill in the Winter Session of Parliament to end the centuries-old practice.
Government functionaries said that a ministerial committee has been set up that will propose a suitable legislation or amend existing penal provisions, which would make instantaneous triple talaq an offence.
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The All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) said that the government’s decision is welcome a move. It said that the need of the hour was to enact a strict law against the Muslim way of divorce.
"We welcome the move of the Centre. Many Muslim countries have already put an end to the practice as it is directly linked to the lives of Muslim women. In the Shia community, there has been no place for triple talaq in one go," AISPLB spokesperson Maulana Yasoob Abbas said.
The AISPLB had on April 17 asked the Uttar Pradesh government to draft a strict law against triple talaq similar to the one against the practice of sati to prevent Muslim women from getting victimised.
"The need of the hour is to enact a strict law against triple talaq in one go that is similar to the anti-sati law to prevent any Muslim woman from getting victimised and ensure that the culprit is punished," he said.
All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board president Shaista Amber also welcomed the decision.
Senior advocate Zafaryab Jilani, however, said, "This is just a propaganda in context of the Gujarat assembly elections, as no responsible minister has made any such announcement."
"The Union law minister had already announced after the Supreme Court judgement in the triple talaq matter that the government was not contemplating bringing any legislation," said Jilani, who is also a member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
The government had on August 22 virtually ruled out the need for a new law on triple talaq, the practice of which has been rendered as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, indicating that existing laws, including the one dealing with domestic violence, were sufficient.
"The government will consider the issue in a structured manner. A prima facie reading of the judgement makes it clear that the majority (of the five-member bench) has held it (the practice of instant triple talaq) as unconstitutional and illegal," Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said.
According to the existing law, a victim of 'talaq-e-biddat' would have no option but to approach the police for redressal of her grievance as a Muslim clergy would be of no assistance to her.
Even police are helpless as no action can be taken against the husband in the absence of punitive provisions in the law.
Reports said the ministerial committee has been set up to draft a bill which the government planned to introduce in the Winter Session of Parliament.
The Supreme Court had in August struck down the controversial Islamic practice of instant divorce or 'talaq-e-biddat' as arbitrary and unconstitutional.