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ET View: Instant triple talaq needed teeth, & gets them

Instantaneous triple talaq, either orally or in written form, is a serious blot that is not only anti-woman, but also anti-Muslim.

ET Bureau|
May 02, 2018, 03.50 PM IST
0Comments
PTI
Triple-talaq-pti
The fact that the practice continued even after the Supreme Court ruled instant divorce to be illegal and void underlines the need for the law to have a proper disincentive.
An ordinance is not the best way to operationalise a law. But with the Opposition stonewalling the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill in Rajya Sabha by demanding it be sent to a selection committee for yet another round of eternal pow-wow, GoI’s hand has been forced. Charges of not taking an anti-instant triple talaq law seriously had been earlier exchanged by both parties supporting and opposing the Bill as it stood. With GoI now taking the ordinance rule, it has shown that a good law can also deliver good politics.

Instantaneous triple talaq, either orally or in written form, is a serious blot that is not only anti-woman, but also anti-Muslim. One criticism of the Bill has been that imprisonment is too harsh a punishment for a man guilty of committing ‘triple talaq’. The fact that the practice continued even after the Supreme Court ruled instant divorce to be illegal and void underlines the need for the law to have a proper disincentive. That a man who goes to jail for committing this crime will not be able to support his wife – or, ex-wife, if a legitimate process of talaq or civil divorce follows – is a rather specious argument being trotted out by the Opposition. Being found guilty of, and imprisoned for, murder, too, would also find the criminal hardpressed, according to this line of reasoning, to support his family. Surely, that won’t be reason enough to not let justice take its course with a murderer. So why should it be any different for the crime of committing instant triple talaq?

One now needs to now ensure that the law is implemented in the manner it has been brought into existence for. Social norms must also change for the practice to ideally die out in India – considering it is a practice peculiar to this country. But norms take time to change. Let this law be the spur. India’s women will be better for it.

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