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Muslim law board reasoning for triple talaq angers Muslim women

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New Delhi: The All India Muslim Personal law Board (AIMPLB) has angered not just many Muslim women, but men also by its arguments in support of triple talaq case in Supreme Court. While defending the legality of the triple talaq in India’s apex court, the Muslim law board had said that a man could murder or burn his wife alive to get rid of her if the practice is discontinued.

By this logic, the Muslim Personal Law Board was trying to say that the large number of cases of wife burning in the country may be due to the fact that it was very tough for a man and woman to separate amicably and so people resort to such cruelty.

There is no denying that wife burning is a menace in the country that consumes thousands of women every year. A report regarding the year 1997 alone suggests that at least 5000 women were burnt to death. It must be kept in mind that many such cases go unreported in the country. It is also a truth that the instance of bride burning among the Muslim community in the country is very rare.

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Nonetheless, to claim that triple talaq is a provision to stop men from wife burning is ridiculous. Zakia Somen, the co-founder of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) and one of the petitioners seeking a ban on triple talaq, has said the process of divorcing women practiced in India should be abolished as it is “un-Quranic”.

In the meantime the Supreme Court on Monday granted four weeks’ time to the Centre to respond on a batch of petitions on triple talaq. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and sought more time to file the response. Zakia Somen, the co-founder of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) and one of the petitioners seeking a ban on triple talaq, has said the process of divorcing women practiced in India should be abolished as it is “un-Quranic”.

Her reaction came after the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) filed an affidavit in the apex court, stating that “personal laws cannot be re-written in the name of social reforms”.

On the other hand while defending the validity of triple talaq before the Supreme Court, the AIMPLB had earlier said that a man could murder or burn his wife alive to get rid of her if the practice is discontinued. The board also said that divorce proceedings instead of triple talaq could damage a woman’s chances of re-marriage if the husband indicts her of loose character in the court.

The Muslim law board has also demanded the apex court to keep its hands off the issue, saying that principles of marriage, talaq and polygamy are interwoven with religious and cultural rights of Muslims, which cannot be touched upon by any court on the ground of violation of fundamental rights. It further said that polygamy as a social practice is not for gratifying men’s lust, but it is a social need.

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