Petition moved in Bombay High Court against ordinance that criminalised triple talaq

Within a week of the government of India bringing an ordinance making it an offence to practise ‘Triple Talaq’, a petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the ordinance.

A petition was filed last Friday by the former municipal councillor Masood Ansari, NGO ‘Rising Voice Foundation’ and advocate Devendra Mishra. According to them, the provisions of the ordinances are “illegal, null, void, unreasonable and arbitrary”.

The very construction of the ordinance shows that it selectively targets men from the Muslim religion. The provisions of the ordinance are violative of fundamental rights of Muslim men,” the petitioners’ lawyer, Tanveer Nizam, said.

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President Ram Nath Kovind had last Wednesday signed the ordinance, according to which giving instant triple talaq has been made illegal and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.

The petitioners have now approached the court and asked for an interim stay on those sections of the ordinance which criminalises the act of pronouncing talaq by a Muslim husband. It is reported that the division bench of the High Court will take the issue on September 28.

The Union government had introduced the bill after varied and detailed public discussion on the bill and also brought in some changes to allay the fears against the misuse of the law. The government had also included some safeguards in the bill, such as providing for bail to the accused husband and provisions to withdraw the case after a settlement.

The NDA government led by Narendra Modi decided to pass a bill after the historic judgement of the Supreme Court of India in the case of Shayara Bano vs Union of India. A five-judge bench of the court had outlawed triple talaq calling it is an ‘arbitrary’ practice.

The ruling party passed the bill in Lok Sabha but could not succeed in the upper house as it faced a stiff opposition from certain political parties. There is no political consensus on the bill, as parties like RJD, AIMIM, BJD, IUML and AIADMK were delaying the passage of the bill and the government had to pass an ordinance in this regard.

Recently, a Minister in West Bengal government who is also the state president of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Siddiqullah Chowdhury had said that the Constitution is subservient to the Quran. He had said that Quran will prevail over the Constitution if any constitutional provision or law contradicts the Quran.

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