AIDWA Statement on the Triple Talaq Bill

AIDWA condemns the draconian Triple Talaq Bill which criminalises the mere pronouncement of Triple Talaq, makes it an offence punishable with upto three years of imprisonment. As we had pointed out earlier, the Bill converts a civil wrong, pertaining to Family Law into a criminal offence and is both ill-conceived and legally flawed. It is communal in its intent – In an atmosphere where Muslims are the objects of various kinds of hate crimes, the Bill is another weapon to demean and chastise Muslim men and project them as criminals. The Supreme Court in Shayara Bano’s case has already held that Triple Talaq is no longer a valid form of divorce. Thus, the pronouncement of Triple Talaq is void and has no effect on the marital status of the parties or the rights & entitlements of the wife. Why then, prescribe that the husband be imprisoned? In any case, the prescribed punishment can at best be termed disproportionate to the alleged offence. If along with the pronouncement of Triple Talaq, a wife complains of being subjected to violence, she can register a case under S498A. However, instead of strengthening this general law there have been several moves to dilute it.

AIDWA also condemns the manner in which this draconian legislature was hurriedly passed in the Rajya Sabha. There were repeated demands that the Bill be sent to a Standing Committee so that a useful and proper legislation be enacted after discussion. However, the Government in its arrogance refused to do so and lost an opportunity to strengthen Muslim women’s rights in the family. Instead, they passed a Bill with retrograde provisions, one of which stipulates a mere subsistence allowance from the husband, and not full maintenance. The strategic and opportunistic walking out from the parliament by Nitish Kumar’s party(JD(U)) and the AIADMK, who were supposed to be in opposition to the Bill, facilitated the passing of this draconian Bill.

We demand the President of India to not sign the current form of the Triple Talaq Bill

Malini Bhattacharya

General Secretary
Mariam Dhawale

Legal Advisor
Adv Kirti Singh