Thursday , 21 June 2018

Triple Talaq Dilemma in India

Husna Meharuba

From the last year the issue against triple talaq, hilla marriage and polygamy among Muslim women Appealed for relief to the Supreme court of India. These practices among Muslim men directly pointed out violation of human rights. However triple talaq in an instant , hilla marriage and polygamy are also unconstitutional. India being a secular country which has uniform civil code for every sects of people, still following their own personal laws. In 22 countries where Muslims are majority in number they have already abolished triple talaq, hilla marriage, polygamy because these practices were prevailing in many of the Arab countries for years. These were not only inhuman practices but also demean the status of women in our society. In India a Muslim woman named Shayara Banu who is 35 year old, received a letter with triple talaq on last October,2015 from her husband Rizwan Ahmed. In April 2016 recently she moved to Supreme Court seeking a ban on instantaneous triple talaq, polygamy and hilla marriage. Her petition in the Supreme Court makes no mention of contentious Uniform civil Code, neither does it ask for codification of the Muslim personal law. She has sought equality before the law and protection against discrimination on the basis of her gender and religion. Most of the Muslims in India are Sunnis governed by Muslim Personal Law of family matters and disputes. Those laws allowing men to divorce their wives by simply uttering the word “talaq,” (three times)and by any medium including telephone, text message or social media post such as whatsapp, Facebook etc.  Another recent issue in last October, a woman named Aarshiya Bagwan who got talaq notice while she was at her parents’ home. She decided not to accept talaq. Muslim Personal laws does not provide women and men equal access to divorce. Hilla marriage practices which considered as barbaric, where any woman wants to remarry her first husband after divorce, she needs to marry and consummate by other man.   Muslim family law also makes it far easier for men than for women to divorce. All Muslim men have an absolute right to unilaterally divorce at will, whereas Muslim women may only do so if men “incorporate” them this right in the kabin-nama. While men’s right to divorce is supposed to be subject to arbitration council review, this rarely happens. Women may seek divorce by mutual consent, including through a khula divorce, but many say they have to pay a consideration to their husbands (usually foregoing mahr). Alternatively, women can divorce through the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, but only on specific grounds, involving a lengthy process both in India and Bangladesh. Bangladesh has succeeded on banning triple talaq,hilla marriage and polygamous marriage. The High Court Division of the Bangladesh Supreme Court has ruled in a landmark judgment of Shahida Begum case,2000  that triple divorce through verbal pronouncement is illegal. Almost 22 countries in the world including Bangladesh and Pakistan have been banned the system of triple talaq system. India also should ban this practice, by which wife has to suffer intolerably.

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