We, citizens concerned with gender justice and minority rights are deeply disturbed with the manner in which a Bill criminalising instant Triple Talaq, was introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha on 28th Dec, 2017 (The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017)
The Bill aims to protect the rights of Muslim women, but we believe, it will cause more harm to them if it is passed in its present form. We urge you to call for consultations from a wide section of people working with Muslim women so that the aim of securing gender justice is truly achieved.
Our concern with the current Bill:
a. It has many contradictions and anomalies.
b. It pushes Muslim women into a new statute which will incarcerating their husbands.
c. It gives power to a third person to file a criminal charge, which can be extremely dangerous.
d. It does not specify the time period for the case to be concluded.
e. It does not specify who will provide sustenance to the woman when her husband is in jail.
Utterance of the words “talaq” three times has been invalidated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in August, 2017, which means that her marriage remains intact. Since the marriage is intact, Muslim women, like all other women, have a recourse in law both criminal (S. 498A of IPC – cruelty to wives) and civil (the Protection of Women Domestic Violence Act, (PWDVA) 2005 which secures the rights of all women facing domestic violence to maintenance, residence, protection from violence and to custody of their children) if they face domestic violence. We believe that Muslim women must take recourse to these two laws to protect their rights.
We, the undersigned, urge that the Bill should be sent to a select committee to discuss its pros and cons in the true spirit of democracy.
Adv. Flavia Agnes, Women’s Rights Lawyer, Founder of Majlis
Prof. (Dr) Faizan Mustafa, Vice-Chancellor, NALSAR University Of Law, Hyderabad
Prof. Abusaleh Shariff, Chair, Maulana Azad Urdu University, Hyderabad
Ms. Uzma Naheed, Director, Iqra Foundation, Vice President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawrat, Former member, Muslim Personal Law Board
Adv. Irfan Engineer, Director, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism
Ms. Audrey D’mello, Director, Majlis Legal Centre
Ms. Sujata Lawhande and Ms. Mumtaz Shaikh, CORO for Literacy, Mumbai
Prof. Apooranand, Delhi University
Dr. Nasreen Fazalbhoy, Retd Reader, Mumbai University
Prof. Farrukh Waris, Retd. Vice Principal, Burhani College, Mumbai
Prof. Farida Lambay, Retired, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai
Prof. Shahida Murtaza, Women Education, Maulana Azad Urdu University, Hyderabad
Dr. Vibhuti Patel, Chairperson & Professor, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies,
School of Development Studies, Mumbai
Sr. Noella de Souza, President, Indian Christian Women’s Movement
Maulana Shoaib Koti, Iqra Darul Qaza
Mufti Inamullah Mazahiri, Chief Qazi, Al Hira Darul Qaza