The practise of triple talaq is indeed inhuman and it is a welcome bill to criminalize the offence which will deter the free and untrammelled indulgence in this practice.
On Thursday, July 25th 2019, the triple talaq bill was passed by the Lok Sabha with 303 members voting in favour of the bill and 82 voting against. The bill will now face a test in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP still does not have numbers to muster a majority. However, this time, it looks like the bill will pass the Rajya Sabha test too as the government has managed to gain the support of non-NDA parties like BJD which might take it over the line. This bill has failed the parliament floor test mainly in the Rajya Sabha since it was first proposed by the NDA 1 dispensation. This called for the promulgation of ordinances as many as 3 times to tide over the situation. This time however it looks as if the government will be able to pass the bill.
What does the bill say broadly? One of the clauses of the bill states that the act of triple talaq is a criminal one that attracts a jail term of up to three years for a man indulging in it. The practise of triple talaq is indeed inhuman and it is a welcome bill to criminalize the offence which will deter the free and untrammelled indulgence in this practice. Triple talaq is a practice where a man, by the mere utterance of the word “Talaq” thrice in any form (today even on Whatsapp it is said to be admissible), is entitled to divorce his wife instantly without any court proceedings whatsoever. This is compliant with Sharia law which is Muslim personal law.
Asaduddin Owaisi is indulging in intellectual dishonesty by making a claim that criminalizing and throwing the erring man in jail will deprive the wronged woman of her alimony
A wife who has been triple talaqed by her husband ceases to have any more rights in the house where she is married and is thrown out summarily with no recourse to any court intermediated justice. If this is not bad enough, the wife who has been triple talaqed, if her ex-husband thinks he wants to re-consider, can accept his ex-wife back provided she undergoes another humiliating practice called nikah halala. Nikah halala means that this ex-wife now has to get married to another man, consummate that marriage and then return to her former husband. There is no more humiliating practice for a woman than this. In many cases, the woman is forced to undergo nikah halala with her father-in-law or brother-in-law and this creates such a painful and shameful situation for the woman, it is un-describable. This is sharia law.
Now, during the vote on the bill in the Lok Sabha, Asaduddin Owaisi made a representation on behalf of the Muslims that criminalizing this practice and throwing the man in jail would mean that he would be in no position to pay his wife maintenance from jail. This is a very devious form of interpretation because as we have seen earlier, a woman who is triple talaqed, ceases to have any rights in the house of her now ex-husband and is thrown out. There is no question of alimony or maintenance. Sharia law does not even whisper of a woman’s right. So, to begin with, sharia law says nothing about maintenance for an estranged wife. Therefore, Asaduddin Owaisi is indulging in intellectual dishonesty by making a claim that criminalizing and throwing the erring man in jail will deprive the wronged woman of her alimony. The alimony clause is non-existent in Sharia.
In Sharia law, a kaffir’s murder is called a crime but no punishment is prescribed for it. This is the same logic being used by the likes of Asaduddin Owaisi when he says he has no problem calling triple talaq a crime but has a problem only because there is a punishment attached to it.
To conclude, a crime for which no punishment has been prescribed is a joke. Penal Code is complete only when both the crime and punishment for it is codified in it. Hence, all this outrage by Muslims and their representative Asaduddin Owaisi is just a trick from the Sharia playbook and should be roundly rejected so that Indian Muslim sisters can have a shot at living a life of dignity.
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