Mumbai: Muslim law board demands review of triple talaq bill
With bill being tabled in Rajya Sabha today, board says the bill is 'irrational and pointless'
Even as the historic Triple Talaq Bill faces its final test in the Rajya Sabha today, dissenting voices have begun to rear their ugly head, describing the bill as "irrational and pointless". The bill, which seeks to criminalise triple talaq, proposing a three-year jail term for a Muslim man found guilty of the act, is now being opposed by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a non-government organisation constituted in 1973 to adopt suitable strategies for the protection and continued applicability of Islamic law.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and other ministers and members during the passage of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill, 2017 by the Lok Sabha in New Delhi, last week. Pic/PTI
The Supreme Court has already set aside triple talaq as illegal and arbitrary, and hence, there is no need for further legislation on it," said Dr Qasim Rasool Ilyas, member of AIMPLD. "If triple talaq is null and void, then criminalising it and making it punishable, is a pointless effort. Even if the government thinks that there is room for legislation, how can you make a civil issue a criminal case? Furthermore, the punishment being prescribed is three years imprisonment and a fine. This bill is irrational and will completely destroy the family life of a Muslim man."
Ilyas has demanded that the bill be taken back. "If that's not possible, the bill should at least be sent to a standing committee so that they can remove discrepancies from the bill." The AIMPLB is also upset with the Congress party and how it has been "dilly-dallying" over the issue. "We have failed to understand the role of the Congress party," said Ilyas. "In the Lok Sabha, they had demanded that the bill be sent to a standing committee as it has several discrepancies. But, at the time of voting, they supported the bill. It is very unfortunate that the Congress has supported this biased bill."
If the bill is sent to a parliamentary committee for review, it is unlikely that it will be passed in the winter session of the Rajya Sabha that ends later this week. Both houses are required to clear the bill for it to become law.
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