Women groups slam AIMPLB talaq advisory

The AIMPLB’s latest submission states that Muslims should socially boycott those who practise triple talaq. File Photo: Rajeev Bhatt   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

From terming it a “desperate” move to an attempt at legitimising a “parallel judiciary”, women’s groups and lawyers fighting a case against triple talaq in the Supreme Court hit out against the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board’s (AIMPLB) latest submission that Muslims should socially boycott those who stick to the practice.

Though the Supreme Court has reserved its judgment in the case, the AIMPLB had submitted an affidavit on Monday saying it would issue directions to all qazis, or magistrates of Sharia law courts, to tell grooms not to resort to triple talaq. The AIMPLB said the community should ostracise those who practised triple talaq, the practice of husbands unilaterally divorcing their wives by saying the word talaq three times.

On Tuesday, one of the respondents in the case, Farha Faiz, a Supreme Court lawyer who is associated with the RSS-linked Rashtrawadi Muslim Mahila Sangh, said the AIMPLB did not have the authority to issue an advisory to all qazis.

‘Board has no authority’

“It [AIMPLB] is only a registered society. They run a parallel judiciary and they can tell their own qazis whatever they want. But, how can they issue orders for all qazis? What authority do they have to issue such an advisory,” asked Mr. Faiz, adding that she planned on asking these questions through an affidavit later this week.

She said that if the Supreme Court agreed to the AIMPLB’s submission, it would be “giving validity to Sharia courts for Muslims”.

“This will create separate judiciaries for all sects of Muslims then,” she said.

Meanwhile, the progressive women’s groups opposed to the practice of on-the-spot divorce said the AIMPLB’s affidavit was a last-ditch attempt before the Supreme Court’s verdict.

“This is a desperate move. They are worried about their existence after the Supreme Court’s order. They have been doing a lot of U-turns, right from justifying triple talaq to this now,” said Zakia Soman, one of the founders of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan.

She added that the AIMPLB had “no clue about the ground reality” and that the work of the BMMA had shown that most women did not even have a copy of their nikahnama or marriage contract.

‘Lack of awareness’

“The AIMPLB has ignored the positive practices. There is lack of awareness that the nikahnama can work as a protection document for women,” she said, adding that there was a need to sensitise Muslim women about their rights.

She added that the BMMA was asking for the “rights” of Muslim women, not for “charity”. “Why do we have to depend on the word of a private body? If that is the case, then we won’t need the anti-dowry law or domestic violence laws. Husbands and families will just give an undertaking that they won’t ask for dowry or commit domestic violence. We are seeking our rights from the courts and Parliament,” she said.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 6:35:14 AM |

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