[Screen shot of the online petition started on change.org.]
Mumbai: More than 44,000 people - 44,900 to be specific, have so far signed an online petition expressing their voice against any change or reform in triple talaq and other Muslim personal laws. The online petition started two days ago has received support from men and women both.
"We the undersigned Muslim men and women do hereby declare that we are fully satisfied with all the rulings of Islamic Shariah, particularly Nikah, Inheritance, Divorce, Khula, Faskh (Dissolution of Marriage) and Waqf", the online petition started on change.org said.
"We deny that these need any reform or there is any scope there in", it added.
"We fully support the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and firmly stand with it in its endeavors to safeguard Shariah Law.
"We wish to make it absolutely clear that Shariah Law does not need any change; rather what really required is eradication of social evils, cultivation of good habits and overcoming weaknesses and honestly following the Shariah Law", the petition said.
The online petition was started after the union government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court supporting amendments and reforms in Muslim personal law, especially triple talaq.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has simultaneously started offline signature campaign with similar appeals. The signature campaign running across the country has so far received by a huge number of people.
Meanwhile, the Centre on Saturday said its stand on triple talaq is perfectly in sync with the spirit of the Constitution which is based on the principles of gender equality and justice.
On October 7, the Centre had opposed in the Supreme Court the practice of triple talaq among Muslims, maintaining that it cannot be regarded as an essential part of religion.
"Our stand on triple talaq which we had to be spelt out in response to a query by the apex court is precisely in accordance with the principles of gender justice, equality and dignity enshrined in the Constitution of India," Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.
Welcoming the ongoing debate on triple talaq in the country, he said there must be a discussion on the status of a large section of women in a secular country like India as to whether or not they should be kept in a vulnerable condition.
Prasad said the provision of triple talaq should also be viewed in the light of the fact that it doesn't exist or is regulated by law in at least a dozen Muslim countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Egypt, Iran and Sudan besides several others.
Replying to a question whether it did not reflect the BJP's desire to impose a uniform civil code in the country, he said the two were separate issues.
"The law commission is discussing the issue of a uniform civil code and our stand on the issue of triple talaq has got nothing to do with that," he said.
The Ministry of Law and Justice, in its affidavit, also referred to constitutional principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital law prevalent in various Islamic countries to drive home the point that the practice of triple talaq, 'nikah halala' and polygamy needed to be adjudicated upon afresh by the apex court.