The triple talaq bill will uphold women’s dignity
The main argument advanced in Lok Sabha against the proposed bill to make instant triple talaq a punishable offence was prefaced by the assertion that opposition to the introduction of the bill does not mean defence of the triple talaq. Instead, the bill was opposed because it seeks to conflate the civil and the criminal laws. This statement betrays total ignorance about the history of how triple talaq, despite being bad in religion, became good in law. Even the Muslim Personal Law Board, in its affidavit submitted in Supreme Court (SC) in Shayara Bano case, has admitted that this form of divorce is a departure from the procedure sanctioned by the Quran and Prophetic traditions), an unjust, sinful and prohibited act. In fact, the Personal Law Board had agreed with almost all the religious and legal grounds on which the petitioners had argued that the practice of triple talaq deserves to be outlawed. The only point of difference was that the Personal Law Board had challenged the jurisdiction of the SC to intervene in this matter. But at the same time, the board had given an undertaking, through an additional affidavit, that the members themselves shall start a campaign against the practice of triple talaq, will suitably amend the model marriage contract and give a call to boycott those who resort to triple talaq. But later it became clear that all these assurances were meant to be tactical to persuade the court not to give its verdict and leave this matter wholly to this body of clerics.