Lucknow: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Sunday said it will request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withhold the Triple Talaq Bill which criminalises the concurrent or instant version of Muslim divorce - a practice already banned by other Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
"No procedure was followed in drafting this bill, neither any stakeholder was consulted.
"The President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) will convey this stand to Prime Minister Modi and request him to withhold and withdraw the bill", board's spokesperson Sajjad Nomani said while talking to media.
Sajjad Nomani was talking to the media after the All India Muslim Personal Law (AIMPLB) meeting held at Nadwatul Ulema, Lucknow.
The Muslim panel termed the Triple Talaq bill not only against the Indian constitution and the recent Supreme Court ruling on the issue but also against the interest of women.
The Muslim panel's statement came two days after the concerned minister submitted in the Lok Sabha that neither the Muslim Personal Law Board nor any other Muslim bodies had been consulted while drafting the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill which criminalises instant talaq.
The minister said the bill was drafted keeping in mind humanitarian angle, not on the basis of religion.
The cabinet has already passed the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill and it has been listed for the ongoing Winter Session of the Parliament.
Under the draft law, triple talaq in any form -- spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp -- would be bad or illegal and void.
The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or concurrent talaq and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking "subsistence allowance" for herself and minor children.
The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue.
"The provision of subsistence allowance and custody has been made to ensure that in case the husband asks the wife to leave the house she should have legal protection," the functionary said.
According to the draft law, which would be applicable to the entire country except Jammu and Kashmir, giving instant talaq would attract a jail term of three years and a fine. It would be a non-bailable, cognisable offence.
Some of the other bills listed for Winter Session are Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill 2017, Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016, Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill 2017, Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes and Protection of Interest of Depositors Interest Bill 2017.
The Supreme Court of India on August 22, 2017 while terming instant or triple talaq against the principles of Quran and Shariah invalidated the evil practice and asked the government to bring a legislation on it in the parliament.
The Supreme Court referred to the fact that several Islamic countries like Pakistan do not allow triple talaq; judges questioned why it should not be abolished in India.
Differences over practice of Triple Talaq exist in the Islamic Sharia since the tenure of second Caliph Omar (RA). Muslim scholars and jurists argue that concurrent talaq or triple talaq in one go has never been approved by Prphet Mohammad (peace be upon him), during the tenure of first Caliph Abu Bakr (RA) and the first two years of Caliph Omar's caliphate.
Caliph Omar later approved it as punishment, scholars argue, but later on the practice was annulled by Muslim jurists. It is on this basis, the practice of concurrent talaq has been termed invalid in most of the Muslim countries.
Muslims in India, majority of them followers of Hanafi school of thought, are adamant on the invalid concurrent talaq and are fighting a case with women activists in the Supreme Court.
Interestingly, some renowned Hanafi scholars have also ruled against concurrent or triple talaq. According to the sources in the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the members fear that agreeing to any change on triple talaq would open floodgate of interference in other Sharia matters.
It is also learnt that there is a strong dissent among the members of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMLB) and especially some women members are upset over board's handling of the situation.