Triple talaq bill draconian, ambiguous: Women activists

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New Delhi: A group of women activists today said it rejected the Centre’s triple talaq bill, holding that it was “draconian” as well as “ambiguous”.

Convener of the Hyderabad-based Muslim Mahila Reasearch Kendra, Asma Zehra, said the bill went against the interests of women and children.

“The bill is draconian as a civil matter is converted into a criminal offence and the husband is sentenced to jail for three years. It is anti-women and anti-children as there is no mention of maintenance and it is anti-social,” she said.

The ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’ criminalising talaq-e-biddat (instant divorce) was passed by the Lok Sabha in the recently concluded Winter Session of Parliament but is pending in the Rajya Sabha.

According to the draft law, which would be applicable to the entire country except Jammu and Kashmir, an instant talaq would attract a jail term of three years and a fine. It would be a non-bailable offence.

The bill was “ambiguous” and lacked legal coherence, Zehra, who is also a member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), said at a press conference here.
The press meet, held ahead of an all-India women NGOs’ meet on the triple talaq bill, was also addressed by other activists.
“The wording of the bill is such that there will be confusion in dealing between cases of a talaq and a triple talaq,” Zehra said, adding, “We reject it.”