India steps closer to making instant Muslim divorce a punishable offence

AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi calls Triple Talaq ordinance Unconstitutional

The move has elicited reactions from both extremes. The Bill is yet to be introduced in the upper House of the Parliament. "It is a huge step towards empowering Muslim women in the country", Jahan said.

Instant triple talaq, the Islamic practice that allows men to divorce their wives immediately by uttering the word "talaq" thrice, had been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in August previous year.

The first change allows only a woman, or a close relative, to file a police case against her husband for instant triple talaq, the Islamic practice that allows men to divorce their wives immediately by uttering the word "talaq" (divorce) thrice. She has a 13-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son.

The Hyderabad MP said the Supreme Court, in its verdict on triple talaq, had stated that if a man pronounces triple talaq, the marriage does not get dissolved. He said that the burden of proof will lie on the woman and do further injustice to her.

But India's 180-million-strong Muslim community has historically opposed such a move, saying it will erode their religious identity and violate the constitution.

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"The BJP's stand on the Muslim plight is well known and they have little sympathy for the community", said Yogendra Yadav, an academic and politician who heads the socio-political organisation Swaraj India.

He was quoted saying by news agency ANI: "This ordinance is against the Muslim women". This ordinance will not provide justice to Muslim women. "In Islam, marriage is a civil contract and bringing penal provisions in it is wrong", says Asaduddin Owaisi.

The Hyderabad MP said that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi was really concerned about the welfare of women, he should bring a legislation for the 24 lakh women who have been deserted by their husbands. "These 24 lakh women, including 22 lakh Hindu women, are married, but they are not living with their husbands", Owaisi said. "Congress didn't support us just for the sake of its vote bank politics", Prasad said, addressing a press conference.

"I assure Muslim sisters and daughters that their rights will be protected and the government will not leave any effort to protect them". "Modi government not making this an issue for justice for Muslim women, but making this into a political issue", said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or "talaq-e-biddat" and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking "subsistence allowance" for herself and minor children. "Recently, in his fifth Independence Day speech, PM Modi said he was striving to end instant triple talaq but underlined there were some people who do not want the practice to go away".

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