The triple talaq bill was first passed by the government on December 28, 2017, in the Lok Sabha. The bill makes the act of triple talaq a crime and makes it a non-bailable offence with punishment of 3 years and fine for the husband. The bill was in Rajya Sabha on its last day of winter session. But it was never brought up for discussion. But, the hope is not dead yet. There’s still chance for it to get passed in future. Meanwhile, here are all the facts and details related to the bill, right from the starting.
What is triple Talaq Bill? Main Facts
Triple talaq, also known as instant divorce or more commonly as talaq-e-biddat or talaq-e-mughallazah in the Muslim world, is a common practice among Muslims where a husband can divorce his wife by just uttering or writing the word Talaq 3 times. In recent times, the practice has spread to social media platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp and other messenger tools. The wife has no say in the matter and the only option left for her is to accept the divorce quietly. The husband is not even required to state any reasons for calling off the marriage and in fact the wife’s presence is also not required at the time he decides to verbalise the T word three times. The wife is allowed the custody of kids until she remarries and after that, the guardianship automatically gets transferred to the husband.
The law is far from preaching equality. If the wife wants to end the marriage but does not have her husband’s approval, she would have to seek the proceedings under Dissolution of the Muslim Marriages Act. She does not have the right to use Triple Talaq at all.
The practice is some 1400 years old in Sunni Muslims. However, the practice is not mentioned in Sharia laws or Quran. In fact, many Muslim scholars have severely criticised the practice. Around 22 Muslim countries have banned the practice, including Bangladesh and Pakistan.
What is the Controversy?
The practice has drawn a lot of flak from Muslim women around the country over the years. It gives men the right to dissolve their marriages, which has been appearing rather impulsive for the most part, leaving the option of counselling totally out of the question. Some men even get rid of their wives for petty reasons. For instance, a woman got triple talaq just for waking up late. Another got it for putting perhaps a little too much salt in the ‘dal’. Many women do not even know for days that they have been divorced.
All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board raised voice against the horrendous practice with claims like it is unacceptable since it is against the Quran and the constitution. Other Muslim women bodies too were opposing the bill, citing it does not give any chance to save the marriage.
Many women protested the act by carrying out rallies and filing cases at judiciary platforms time and again.
How Beneficial Would it be for Muslim women?
Many women and their families give lakhs of dowry for marriage. But, they never have the security since their husbands at any moment can divorce them by uttering just three words. As a result, they end up stranded in the middle of their life without much financial support. On the top of that, they cannot even demand back their own dowry money, forget asking for provisional support.
With the banning of the practice, women would be bound to get divorced under a proper legal frame, which strengthens their right to get alimony and maintenance support.
In addition, after the divorce, whether they marry again or not, they can fight for the custody of kids and do not have to pass the guardianship unchallenged.
And lastly, women no longer have to worry about their world being yanked off right beneath their feet, when their husbands decide to say Talaq thrice, a process which does not even require their presence.
The triple talaq bill empowers their status and integrity in society and massively secures their future.
Bill Has Run into Rough Weathers… Again
The Modi government might have passed the bill in 2017, but it’s still an uphill battle for it to get accepted in Rajya Sabha. For one, the opposition has united against the passing of the bill. Their main objection? They are of the view that it is unfair to the Muslim men if they can’t triple talaq their wife. The bill advocates the imprisonment of those who violate it. They stated that since men of other religions don’t get penalised this way, it would be a biased decision towards the Mohammedan men.
The bill was to taken up for consideration on the last day, 9 January, 2019, of Rajya Sabha along with other two bills. However, it wasn’t discussed at all. The next opportunity for the bill to get passed is January 31, that is when the budget session commences. As the rule demands, the onus is on the government to get it approved within 6 months if it to become a law.
All that is left to do now is wait. Only time will tell the final fate of this bill.