The much awaited Muslim Women’s Protection of Rights in Marriage (Triple Talaq bill) was tabled in the Lok Sabha today. The NDA government had promised that it is committed to clearing the bill for bringing justice to Muslim women.
However, Congress’ Shashi Tharoor has objected to the bill.
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As per reports, Tharoor has put forward 3 points opposing the bill. Tharoor said that he is not defending the Triple talaq but opposing the text and draft of the bill.
He said that the bill conflates civil law and criminal law by criminalising the Triple Talaq, which is an ‘irregular’ form of divorce already null and void in our country post the SC’s decision on the Shayara Bano vs the Union of India case.
Tharoor asked whether the action of abandoning the wife and children without taking responsibility the criminal act or the form of desertion, namely doing it by uttering Talaq three times is to be considered the crime under the bill.
He further added that if the desertion is a criminal act, there should be a universal law applicable to all Indians that criminalises the act of deserting a wife and children.
Tharoor stated that by framing a law that specifically criminalises Muslim husbands for a void act, the bill becomes a textbook example of ‘class legislation’, which will violate article 15 and 14 of the constitution.
He added that the bill does nothing to help Muslim women who suffer from numerous other social issues like Nikah Halala, therefore, the bill cannot claim the benefit of an exception under article 15(3). He argued that instead of protecting Muslim women, the bill only punishes Muslim men.
Finally, Tharoor argued that the bill does not have any procedural safeguards and therefore might be misused for violating a person’s rights under article 21.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi also opposed the bill in the parliament.