Published: Tue, November 21, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Modi govt moves forward to bring legislation banning triple talaq

Modi govt moves forward to bring legislation banning triple talaq

In a recent instance of Talaq-e-biddat, it was noticed that a person in a leading educational institution divorced his wife via WhatsApp and SMS.

The Supreme Court had in August struck down the controversial practice of Talaq-e-biddat in which Muslim men can divorce their wives by mentioning the word 'talaq (divorce)' three times in one go.

Even police are helpless as no action can be taken against the husband in the absence of punitive provisions in the law, they explained. The government's proposed move could help plug that loophole.

Triple talaq, widely practised in India, is a form of unilateral oral divorce to Muslim women by their husbands.

The woman also claimed that she had given him Rs 2 lakh on different occasions before they got married, the official said.

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Muslims organisations reacted to the government's decision with caution.

As the law stands today, a victim of "talaq-e-biddat" would have no option but to approach the police for redressal of her grievance as a Muslim clergy would be of no assistance to her. It is prevalent among India's Muslim community majority of whom follow the Hanafi Islamic school of law.

Sources in the government say that the call for reforms in the personal law had come from the Muslim community itself. The courts hearing the triple talaq cases already filed will have to declare the divorce null and void.

The ensuing debate forged an unlikely coalition between women groups, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party which wanted the law quashed, against some Muslim outfits that contended the state had no right to interfere in religious matters.

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