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Triple Talaq Bill: Muslim Women In Bhubaneswar Raise Objections

01 August 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das

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Bhubaneswar: A Muslim man in India can no longer divorce his wife by uttering "talaq" - three times. The so-called "triple-talaq" method of instant divorce has been criminalised by the Parliament. The Rajya Sabha passed the bill on Tuesday, two years after the Supreme Court declared the practice unconstitutional.

The Bill deals with Talaq-e Biddat, a form of instant and irrevocable divorce given by Muslim men. It is recognised under Muslim Personal Law, where saying the word 'talaq' thrice in one sitting by a man to his wife leads to instant divorce.

Under the bill, divorcing through instant triple talaq will be illegal, void and would attract a jail term of three years for the husband. While the bill makes triple talaq a "non-bailable" offence, an accused can approach a magistrate before trial to seek bail.

While many in the Muslim community have celebrated the passage of this bill, several sections of the society, including Muslim women have raised objections. "The triple talaq bill has diluted the maintenance provision for women and will not give protection to us," they said.

"In what way is this Bill a step towards women empowerment, we find it regressive. Muslim women want their husband to support them and give them maintenance in case of divorce. If the husband goes to jail, it would not help them," a Muslim woman here said.

"In our community men and women had equal rights to go for talaq (divorce) if one is not happy or being tortured by the other. But with the passage of this Bill, both men and women have lost this provision. Besides, we think this is a repressive law for men as the police can make arbitrary arrests if a women lodges FIR about Talaq," a local Muslim man said.

This controversial bill is projected by the government as a step towards gender equality and justice. While, Opposition parties like the Congress and DMK have demanded that it should be sent to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny.

"This bill is against Islam, so we do not accept it. We go by our age-old scriptures, and what is written in our Holy Quran," a group of men and women in Bhubaneswar siad.

The Triple Talaq Bill or the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 received President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent on July 31, 2019. The bill has now become a law.

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