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Triple talaq bill in present form is dangerous, Muslim personal law board says

Amid marriage law debate, Indian Muslim board meets for annual session

Gulf News

Hyderabad: The issue of Triple Talaq Bill will be top of the agenda stage as the three-day annual session of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board begins on Friday.

The board is a representative platform for most schools of thought and organisations of Indian Muslims in Hyderabad.

The conference will start with the sitting of the working committee on Friday evening at the Owaisi Medical College and Hospital Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad.

Spokesperson Moulana Syed Sajjad Nomani told a press conference on Thursday that the bill had serious shortcomings and the board would not be willing to accept the proposed legislation if they are not removed.

“The board is not against the bill but there are lacunae which violate constitution and fundamental rights,” he said.

His said the strongest objection to the bill was that it surreptitiously seeks to ban not only the triple talaq but the institution of talaq itself.

“The advocate-general has told the Supreme Court bench during the hearing of the case that once this bill is cleared, the government will take steps to prohibit all forms of talaq. This statement left the Supreme Court judges surprised and when they asked what will be the option before a Muslim husband if he wants to give talaq, the AG said that the government will pass an act later,” Moulana Nomani said.

He said it was a matter of shame that such a dangerous law, which violates constitution, fundamental rights of citizens, was being proposed in the country.

“No other country in the world has such a law. I feel ashamed of the Bill, not only as a Muslim but as an Indian citizen,” he said pointing out that the Bill seeks to outlaw even those methods of talaq which were upheld by the Supreme Court.

When asked about the possibility of Board talking to the government or the Prime Minister, Moulana Nomani said that soon after the matter came to light the Board held an emergency meeting and wrote to the Prime Minister seeking an appointment to discuss the matter.

“But such was his autocratic attitude that PMO did not give any reply to the letter”.

He said making triple talaq a cognisable offence was a dangerous move as it would be open to misuse and anybody can lodge a police complaint against anybody that he has given triple talaq.

“Even if the wife denies police can arrest him”, he said.

He urged all the political parties to look in to their conscience and come out against the bill. He thanked those parties including partners of NDA who after meeting with the Board members understood the issue and opposed the bill.

The general plenary of the Board will be held over three sittings on Saturday and Sunday, which will be attended by more than 500 delegates including the scholars, intellectuals and representatives of Muslim organisations.

Replying to a question the spokesman said there was a proposal from some members to amend the Model Nikahnama, or the marriage contract, and add another column to take a commitment from the groom that he will not give instant or triple talaq.

The working committee and general body will also discuss the Babri Masjid title issue, which is before the Supreme Court and the Babri Masjid demolition case in Lucknow Court. Based on the reports of the lawyers’ panel, the next course of action will be decided.

On another question regarding threats of some hardline Hindu organisations to take up the temple construction work at the disputed site, Moulana Nomani said, “this is clear contempt of court. The court and the government should take action against such elements”, he said. He also denied that there was any proposal before the court regarding the Babri Masjid land.

The Board will also discuss the awareness campaign among Muslims against social evils and also use of the social media like Facebook, Twitter and Telegram for the purpose.

It has also set up a women’s wing and the session will discuss its report too.

Moulana Nomani said the Board will also discuss the progress of the work of codification of Sharia in English and also discuss the work to explain the logic and rationale behind the Sharia.

“Once this is done it will remove the misunderstanding among the other communities and all the justice loving people will like the Islamic Family law”.

Another point on the agenda will Theban on performing Namaz in the mosques under the control of Archaeological Survey of India. “it is unfortunate that while Namaz is prohibited, all sorts of crimes including drinking and gambling are being committed in these mosques”. He said that the Board will take appropriate democratic action after going through the report of survey of all such mosques across the country.

The three day event will round up with a massive public meeting in the city on Sunday evening, expected to be attended by more than a lakh men and women.