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The Triple Talaq Bill: A Final Step To Settle Gender Justice Debate Among Muslims

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I’ve written a post earlier on the issue of triple talaq in June last year when the government opposed that in the Supreme Court. The SC held that talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq is unconstitutional, arbitrary and thus declared it void. Now, the legislation is being done with the continuation of the judicial declaration, with a triple talaq bill already been passed in the Lok Sabha and waiting to be passed in the Rajya Sabha. The bill shall provide a legal right to the Muslim women against this practice and make it a "criminal and non-bailable offence".

But, some Islamic scholars and ‘secular’ politicians are questioning the authority of the Parliament. Isn’t it the Legislature that is formally authorised to initiate and bring reform in the society? Triple talaq is an unjust practice that has been carried out in independent India which is shameful. This practice has been even discontinued in many sharia abiding countries. The parliament has only initiated the legislative process in the continuance of the SC verdict. Some scholars even argued that the Judiciary has no right to intervene in this matter. They said Muslim personal law is not really a ‘law’, it is a ‘religious’ matter and they’ve a fundamental right to practice their religion.

The need for legislation despite judiciary declaration of the practice being unconstitutional stems from many previous such judgements. For instance, untouchability in any form is not permitted by the constitution. But this practice cannot be discontinued unless there would be a legal provision punishing the same. Similarly, the right to education has been declared as an integral part of Article 21, so denying a child education was unconstitutional, but we all know, it is only after the enactment of Right to Education Act by the Parliament, children get their right of education. Therefore, it is very essential to have a legislative and executive framework to make a genuine change on the ground.

However, Kapil Sibal, a Congress leader, former Union Minister and a lawyer is fanning the hysteria. According to him, the only intention of this bill is to criminalize this ‘1400-year-old’ practice of talaq-e-biddat, and therefore, government’s intention is to target Muslim men. below is a screenshot of an article that he had written in The Hindu.


But, how can a practice be stopped without making it cognisable and proposing punishment for the same? The maximum punishment for triple talaq is prescribed to be three years, which would be given only in exceptional cases.

The opposition has unnecessarily created turmoil over the bill claiming it to be an intrusion into Islamic law. They could have suggested some constructive changes they deem fit, after thorough deliberation and utilized the parliament’s time in some good use. Bringing religion and invoking secularism is not going to help in this case. Talaq-e-bidat or instant triple talaq is, by all means, an outright unjust practice that has been carried out for decades in the name of secularism, and it must be abolished by the means of law.

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