Triple talaq an offence: Overenthusiasm and undue impatience on the part of the government

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In the wake of the Supreme Court judgment on triple talaq in which the court rendered it void and said triple talaq in one sitting would be ineffective and void, a group of women which was politically motivated was very much pleased. It was a majority verdict of the 5-judge bench which heard the arguments from both sides and the three judges said even according to the Islamic references, the divorce announced three times in one sitting is not valid. It was the first interference into the Islamic Personal Law which was framed with the help of the Islamic scholars during British period in 1937. After Independence no successive governments at the centre thought it fit to meddle with the personal law. However, the NDA government led by the Prime Minister Modi adopted the line of the BJP which from the very beginning has been demanding the imposition of the uniform civil code. Muslim women never complained against the Muslim Personal Law except in rare cases, the individual women approached the courts and got remedy during the last seventy years. Now groups were persuaded to file petitions against the practice of the triple talaq. Muslim women throughout the country opposed the Supreme Court verdict, but for the government the miniscule opinion was more important.

In accordance with the judgment, a Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with the brute majority of the BJP. However, the Bill is still pending in the Rajya Sabha. But the government was not prepared to wait and therefore an Ordinance was passed by the cabinet on September 19 making triple talaq an offence. The person committing the offence will be liable to 3-year jail. The Congress said the Bill was politically motivated and the BJP made the issue a football. The MIM MP from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi said it was a bad law. The Muslim organisations said they would approach the Supreme Court against the law. The political parties and social organisations questioned the government if Muslim men are punished, why not the Hindus committing the same crime of abandoning their wives? Why this discrimination against one community? The Modi government should answer this query.

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