State must also ensure women get justice

Updated: Aug 01, 2020, 07:34 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

As the nation completes a year of the implementation of the legislation against triple talaq, a Muslim rights organisation says the impact of it has been positive

Noorjehan Safia Niaz, BMMA
Noorjehan Safia Niaz, BMMA

It's been a year since the Indian Parliament criminalised the practice of triple talaq, deeming it unconstitutional and punishable by law, and it's impact seems to have been positive in Mumbai. According to a national organisation working towards citizenship rights of Indian Muslims in the city, the number of triple talaq or 'instant divorce' cases in Mumbai has seen a drastic drop.

Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), which was founded in 2007, is a secular rights-based mass organisation. Speaking to mid-day, Noorjehan Safia Niaz, co-founder of BMMA, said, "The law has acted as a deterrent. Men are now more responsible. They either go for reconciliation or proper divorce proceedings."

She further said that the instances of triple talaq in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 were much higher compared to last year and that the legislation had helped to bring down the numbers. In 2016, the Mumbai centre of BMMA was approached with 31 cases of triple talaq. In 2019, they did not receive a single case, while this year they just got one so far. "The legislation against triple talaq has indeed had a positive impact," she added.

However, Niaz said that there was room for improvement in the existing law. "The state's responsibility does not end with just a legislation. It must also ensure that women get justice," she said. A press note put out by BMMA also suggested amendments to the law, like laying down a minimum punishment (as of now a maximum punishment of three years under the law is applicable) and that women should have the right to continue residing in their marital home. "The entire family law must be codified like it has been done for Hindus, Christians and Parsis," she added.

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