There are a few things that one needs to understand. First, the percentage of teen talaq is very low — the 2011 Census puts the divorce rate among Muslims at 0.56%. Second, triple talaq is not a social issue for the Muslims. A few reasons why triple talaq in its present form will not benefit the community.
- The Supreme Court made triple talaq illegal, it should have been left at that. The move to criminalise it will harm all the parties concerned. It is like saying a man who has not committed murder, yet he is being punished for it. Why punish a man for a crime he has yet to commit? Also, when the man in behind bars, he has to pay his wife and children maintenance. How will he do this?
- Why drag a civil matter — that of a divorce — with a criminal case? This is wrong. Divorce happens in other communities as well. Why make it a criminal offense for Muslims?
- Since the law says that the wife is still married to the man as triple talaq is invalid, look at the situation from the woman’s point of view. According to the law she is still married to the man and will have to go back to him. In such a scenario will it be possible for the man to behave properly with the woman?
- There will be more atrocities towards women, domestic violence will increase. The man will not give such a woman the respect that is due to her. Because the woman is still lawfully his wife, she can’t leave him and nor will the man accept her. She will be neither here or there. Should the woman not have a shot at happiness?
- Why a jail term? Why not keep a monetary compensation that will benefit the woman in case she is wrongly divorced? If the Government wants to ensure that the interest of the woman is taken care of, why not make sure that the courts grant relief in such cases at the earliest?
(The writer is Founder member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board)