CRIMINAL ABANDONMENT :-
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) who are opposing Triple Talaq law on triple talaq must look closer at Muslim countries
Context :- The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), has recently passed a resolution to oppose the tabling in Parliament of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017.
About Muslim Women ( Protection of Rights on Marriage ) Bill 2017 :-
- The Bill seeks to reinforce the SC’s ruling which struck down triple talaq by a majority (3:2).
- The 2017 Bill makes triple talaq a penal offence punishable with a three-year term.
- The Bill also affords victims of triple talaq subsistence allowance and protects their custody rights over children.
Arguments over Muslim Women Bill 2017 :-
- The AIMPLB contends that the Bill is contrary to Shariah and an attempt by the government “to snatch the right of divorce from men”.
- Women’s groups who campaigned against triple talaq. They argue that a practice which concerns Muslim marriage, treated in law as a civil contract, cannot be criminalised.
Let’s have a look on how illegal divorce can be criminalised :-
In Pakistan and Bangladesh, with whom we share a common history, marriage and divorce are governed by the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, clause 7 of which reads :-
- (1) Any man who wishes to divorce his wife shall, as soon as may be after the pronouncement of Talaq in any form whatsoever, give the Chairman a notice in writing of his having done so, and shall supply a copy thereof to the wife.
- (2) Whoever contravenes the provision of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both. [Bangladesh: 10,000 taka].
- Even though a man who divorces his wife without notice to the Arbitration Council is punishable with imprisonment.
- A man who resorts to triple talaq would be liable to punishment.
The AIMPLB contention that illegal divorce cannot be penalised or that it is contrary to the Shariah appears to be without basis. Several other countries, including the vast majority of Arab states, have outlawed triple talaq.
- In Egypt, for example, where triple talaq is impermissible, a man who divorces his wife in violation of the prescribed procedure (which requires registration), is punishable with imprisonment.
- In Tunisia, a man who marries another woman before an earlier marriage has not been lawfully dissolved is liable to imprisonment.
Impact On Women related to Bill :-
- Many more women might be confident enough to assert themselves, both in the marriage and in the world outside.
- An empowered woman is enormously empowering for her children and that can only help integration with the mainstream.
Conclusion :- A long-ensconced social structure will gradually alter, as will patriarchy have to be dismantled, bit by bit but the Bill is only one step forward. Women’s groups say they need a more comprehensive reform of Muslim law impacting women. But that must wait till the SC hears the challenge on polygamy, other forms of talaq and nikah halala still pending before it.
Questions out of the box :-
- How will you differ in your opinion with AIMPLB opposing Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 ? Justify with your statements.