The apex body of the Muslim organizations in India had pointed out that the bill will eventually devastate the Muslim families.
NEW DELHI — Ignoring the appeal from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), some political parties and women’s groups for consultation with all stakeholders, the central government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday introduced the controversial Triple Talaq bill in the Lok Sabha.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 criminalising triple talaq was introduced in the lower house of Parliament amid protests from opposition parties who objected to its introduction.
Members from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Biju Janata Dal, and some other parties spoke against the introduction of The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017.
No member from the Congress was, however, allowed to speak, as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that they had not given a notice in advance to speak on the issue.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called it a historic day, and stated that the Bill was to ensure gender justice for Muslim women.
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It was introduced after a voice vote, as all treasury benches members supported the introduction of the Bill.
The bill has provision for a maximum three year jail term and fine for practicing this form of divorce. It also gives Muslim women right to seek maintenance, and right to child’s custody.
However, the bill conveniently ignores the question: Who will take care of the woman when her husband will be in jail?
Modi Govt Ignores AIMPLB’s Appeal
On Sunday (Dec 24), AIMPLB had held its emergency meeting in Lucknow and unanimously urged the Modi government not to introduce the bill in the present form in the Parliament before consultation. The apex body of the Muslim organizations in India had pointed out that the bill will eventually devastate the Muslim families.
“The proposed provisions in the Bill are also against the existing legal provisions set out in other legislations and hence unwarranted. Law relating to Guardianship, the domestic violence, CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) are already in place. The terms set out in the proposed Bill also encroach upon the guarantees set out in the Constitution of India for the religious denominations. It is also against the essence of the Judgment rendered by the Supreme Court on 22 Aug 2017,” the Board said in a statement after the meeting attended by 20 members including two women members.
The AIMPLB asked why an act (pronouncing instant triple talaq), which has already been rendered as non-legal and ineffective, is now being declared as a criminal act.
“A ‘non-legal’ ‘ineffective action’, which does not lead to giving effect to Talaq as per the Supreme Court Judgment, has been converted into serious criminal charges leading to destroying the future of women and the children (family).”
The Board said that all stakeholders were not consulted before the drafting the bill.
“While making/drafting the Bill, parliamentary procedure of law making has not been followed. Neither the stake holders/affected parties/women organisations have been consulted to enable them in placing the actual position on the ground, correct position of law and the adverse consequences of the proposed law and welfare of the women and children pursuant to ‘non-effective’ talaq.”
AIMPLB urged the Central government not table the present bill in the Parliament and if wanted to enact any such it should first consult AIMPLB and true representatives of Muslim women organizations.
“If the government considers necessary enacting such a law, the government must have consultations with the AIMPLB and true representatives of Muslim (women) organisations and only then the Bill should be tabled,” said the Board.