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Muslim women express support for criminalisation provision of triple talaq

SNS | New Delhi |

The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) has requested the government to make crime under the triple talaq bill a bailable offence though congnisable.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, passed in the Lok Sabha in December 2017, makes instant triple talaq illegal and void. It also proposes a jail term of three years for the husband and recognises the offence as non-bailable and cognisable.

Though some activists and women’s rights groups objected to the criminalisation provision in the Bill, the BMMA sought to retain it.

In a draft legislation sent to the government and the Opposition, the BMMA has stated that the right to file an FIR should be with the wife.

Recommending a reduction of the propose three-year jail term under the bill to one-year jail term, the BMMA has suggested that those abetting and aiding ‘talaq-e-biddat’ (instant triple talaq) should be handed a punishment of three-year jail term.

The group, which consulted 60,000 Muslim women following the tabling of the government-proposed bill, has requested both the government and the Opposition to not let their differences stall the bill.

Suggestion has also been made for the abolishing of Halala, in which a divorced woman must consummate her marriage before returning to her former husband, and Mutah, a temporary marriage.

The group has also recommended the inclusion of ‘talaq-e-ahsan’, ‘Khula’ and ‘Mubarah’ in the legislation. ‘Talaq-e-ahsan’ gives both the husband and wife a minimum of 90 days for mediation. While ‘Khula’ is a demand for divorce by wife, ‘Mubarah’ is divorce by mutual consent.

The letters and the draft law framed by the group has been sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, ministries of Law, Minority Affairs, Women and Child Development and Law Commission.

The Bill will be taken up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha in the Budget session which commences from 29 January. Opposition parties earlier stalled the bill in Rajya Sabha demanding that it be sent to a Select Committee.