A VERY FLAWED LAW – ON INSTANT TRIPLE TALAQ
Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 :-
- The draft law goes on to declare, in Sections 3, 4 and 7, that the “pronouncement” of talaq-e-biddat by a person upon his wife in any form whatsoever “shall be void and illegal”.
- The draft law also declare that the pronouncement of triple talaq “shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and fine”, and the offence would be “cognizable and non-bailable”
Questions over proposed Bill Provisions :-
“According to The proposed Bill presumes that the “pronouncement” of talaq-e-biddat can instantaneously and irrevocably dissolve the marriage, and proceeds to “void” it in Section 3 “
- It raises a question of ” How after rendering talaq-e-biddat inoperative in Section 3, its nugatory pronouncement can be considered a cognisable and non-bailable offence in Sections 4 and 7. Can a law criminalise an act after conceding that it does not result in a crime ? “.
“The draft law discuss post-divorce issues such as a “subsistence allowance” for the woman upon whom instant talaq “is pronounced” & the “custody of her minor children” as if her marriage is dissolved by the mere pronouncement of talaq-e-biddat”..
- How could the authors of this Bill talk of post-divorce matters ignoring the fact that the pronouncement (instant talaq) has already been voided in Section 3 and cannot result in a divorce?
What can we learn from the Pakistan’s Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961?
- According to the Pakistan’s law, ‘any man who wishes to divorce his wife shall, after the pronouncement of talaq in any form whatsoever, give the chairman of the state-appointed Union Council notice in writing of his having done so, with a copy submitted to the wife.
- Within 30 days of receipt of notice, the chairman should constitute an arbitration council that comprises himself and a representative of each of the parties, for the purpose of bringing about a reconciliation between the parties.
- And talaq shall not be effective until the expiration of 90 days from the day on which notice is delivered to the chairman.
- If the wife is pregnant at the time of the pronouncement, talaq shall not be effective until the termination of her pregnancy.
Conclusion :- The draft law negates the recent SC ruling by unwittingly favouring the All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s medieval view that the pronouncement of talaq-e-biddat breaks the marriage, and, therefore, needs to criminalised.
OUT AT SEA – ON THE INDIAN OCEAN REGION
U.S. National Security Strategy :-
- In its National Security Strategy (NSS), the U.S. has called China a “challenger” and “rival” while welcoming India’s emergence as a “leading global power and stronger strategic and defence partner”.
- The U.S. declared that it seeks to increase ‘Quadrilateral’ cooperation with Japan, Australia, and India.
- The NSS also states that the U.S. would support India’s growing relationships throughout the region.
India should be cautious on two counts :-
- India should be wary of any attempts at being pitted as a front in the U.S.’s efforts to check China’s rise.
- India must not forget that its primary area of concern is the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Securing its position here is vital before venturing elsewhere.
Rules-based order :-
- Despite being wooed by both sides India has been a balancing power on the world stage. For instance, India’s vote in the UN General Assembly over Jerusalem should be seen in line with a “rules-based world order.”
Chinese presence in the IOR :-
- China has rapidly extended its presence in Indian Ocean Region whether its about Sri Lanka Hambantota port or CPEC.
- Even Chinese army recently acknowledged that it is planning to explore the possibility of more foreign military outposts in Africa, West Asia, and other areas
How to consolidate position in IOR?
First of all India should focus on IOR, stretching from the Gulf of Aden to the Strait of Malacca. India needs to consolidate its position by :-
- By beefing up Indian capacity and securing interests
- Expanding partnerships to fill voids
- India should also focus on groupings that whether they are in line with our interests or not.
Key initiatives :-
- Last month, India and Singapore concluded an overarching bilateral agreement for naval cooperation. It is India’s second bilateral logistics arrangement and gives it access to the Changi naval base at the mouth of the Strait of Malacca
- India is also working out modalities for joint multilateral exercises with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
- India is also negotiating similar logistics agreements with several other countries
- Another initiative is the Goa Maritime Conclave hosted by the Indian navy last month where Navy Chiefs and maritime heads of 10 Indian Ocean littoral states brainstormed on ways to improve cooperation in the region. It is an India-led initiative where the navy has offered to share information of maritime movement in real-time
- The tags of net security provider and leading global power would mean nothing if New Delhi cannot undertake capacity building in its own backyard, be it South Asia or the IOR.
- India should engage with like-minded countries in the region without getting entangled in groupings which are seen as being targeted or military in nature
THROUGH THE SMOG-SCREEN: ON DELHI’S AIR POLLUTION
Blame-Game on different issues :-
- Significant sections of recent reports on Delhi’s air pollution have started criticising paddy stalk burning in Punjab and Haryana, positioning it as a key contributor to the crisis.
- Even Some of them have pinned the blame on the Green Revolution and the rampant use of tube-wells which converted Punjab to a paddy-growing landscape
- Others have pointed at the recent success of the Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Water Act, 2009. Aiming at arresting Punjab’s falling groundwater tables, the act banned farmers from transplanting rice in fields before June, so that they would not pump groundwater and rely more on the monsoon rains for their water supply. This allowed a window of barely 20 days for farmers to get their fields ready for sowing wheat after harvesting paddy(and can be seen as a reason behind Stubble burning)
IIT Kanpur report on Delhi’s air Pollution :-
- The report published in 2016 cites municipal solid waste burning and vehicular pollution as critical contributors of air pollution apart from crop residue burning.
- The report clearly states that if municipal solid waste burning was stopped and waste management upgraded, it would improve Delhi’s air quality by 100%
- Control of vehicular pollution would do the same by 50% and stopping crop residue burning would ensure 90%
- Delhi’s air remains polluted throughout the year because of municipal solid waste burning and vehicular pollution
- Approximately 190-246 tonnes of municipal solid waste is burnt every day in Delhi
- Crop residue burning only tips the scales in favour of a catastrophe.
- Delhiites and civic authorities have both assiduously avoided segregating waste at source.
Contradictory efforts by government and citizens of Delhi :-
- Choice-less farmers in Punjab are being asked to manage 15 million tonnes of paddy stalk sustainability. But no one is asking residents of Delhi to do the simple thing of keeping two separate waste bins at home.
- The sale of household air purifiers and steroidal inhalers has skyrocketed in Delhi.
- Even The Delhi government is considering seeding clouds in order to get artificial rain to clean up Delhi’s air rather than inconvenience its citizenry with waste segregation measures.
- Even Delhi’s environment is repeatedly being rescued by judicial interventions and not by its elected representatives
The way forward
- Delhi needs radical policies: more car-free zones, increased taxation on sale of private vehicles, clampdown on illegal parking and making a garage a prerequisite for car purchase.