Urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the bill on triple talaq, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has said that if the government considers it necessary to enact law in this regard, it should first consult the stakeholders including the AIMPLB.
“You are requested to not pursue the said bill (Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017) and rather withdraw the same. In case your government considers it necessary to enact law in this respect, consultations must be held with the AIMPLB and such Muslim women organisations that are true representatives of Muslim women,” it said in a letter to Prime Minister Modi dated December 25.
The AIMPLB said that the proposed provisions in the Bill are against existing legal provisions set out in other legislations and “hence unwarranted” and the Domestic Violence Act, Guardianship and Wards Act and Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) are “already in place”.
“The terms set out in the proposed Bill also encroach upon the guarantees set out in the Constitution of India for the religious denominations,” it said in the letter.
The Board also objected to the definition of “talaq” given in Section 2(b) of of the Bill, which, it said, is “beyond the scope of talaq-e-biddat (instant divorce) which alone was set aside by the Supreme Court”.
“The proposed definition may even include talaq-e-bain etc which were not held illegal by the Supreme Court. But a reading of Section 2 (b) read with Section 3 of the Bill may have the effect of declaring talaq-e-bain etc also as void and illegal by treating the same as covered by the words ‘or any other similar form of talaq having effect of instataneous and irrevocable divorce’ used in Section 2 (b) of the Bill,” it said.
Talaq-e-bain is when a husband declares divorce unto his wife for the third time in one marriage (between indefinite intervals). This is irrevocable.
Khula divorce, initiated by the wife, is also a form of talaq-e-bain. The husband has no right to revoke the divorce in this case, but the couple are at liberty to re-marry each other again with a fresh nikah and a new mehr determination.
The government intends to introduce the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 in the Lok Sabha this week.