Kerala High Court Judge B. Kemal Pasha has said that the Muslim personal law in India is discriminatory to women and that it is being misused.
Delivering the inaugural address of a discussion on ‘Constitution – gender equality – belief’ organised by Nisa, a Kozhikode-based progressive Muslim women’s forum, on Sunday as part of International Women’s Day observance, Mr. Pasha said the Muslim personal law had adopted various tenets from the Koran but refused to adhere to the Koran when it came to women and their rights.
" The Koran gives women freedom in matters of marriage and divorce. When a man can marry up to four times, the personal law denies the freedom to women. The Koran gives both men and women permission for extra judicial divorce. But it is difficult for a Muslim woman to seek divorce as per the personal law,” Mr. Pasha said. He blamed the religious leaders for forcibly implementing the law which denied justice to women. He called upon the Jamaats to be judicious when they act as courts in these matters.
Mr. Pasha said that the personal law was being misused as it was not codified and called for codification of the law adhering to the Koran in all respects. He said that the law of succession was well crafted but for a few loopholes that too denied justice to women and that good intentions of the personal law were defeated due to these deficiencies in it.
Boost to Nisa
Mr. Pasha’s comments have come as a boost to Nisa which is on a campaign for the amendment to the Muslim personal law. The organisation has filed a petition in the Supreme Court for the same.
He lashed out against the practice of dowry and called upon women to stand up against the practice in order to put an end to it. He pointed out the need to create awareness on the possibilities of various laws among the masses.
Nisa chairperson V.P. Zuhra presided over the session.