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Law Minister rakes up triple talaq again, says govt committed to end the 'evil social practice'

Sunday February 5, 2017 11:21 PM, & Agencies

Triple Talaq

Raking up the triple talaq issue consecutively on second day and third time in a fortnight, Union Law Minister and Senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday termed the concurrent talaq as 'evil social practice' and said the Modi government is committed to end this in due course.

"The government respects faith but worship and social evil cannot coexist," he said.

"Let Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi and Mayawati clarify their stand on triple talaq. Our (BJP's) stand is very clear. The issue is not related to religion but involves respect and dignity of women," Prasad said at a press conference in Lucknow.

Speaking at a press conference in Ghaziabad yesterday, he had said the Centre might take appropriate steps to ban triple talaq after the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections as the tradition denies respect to women.

Prasad had said, "every pernicious practice" cannot be part of a religion and the Centre would raise the issue in the Supreme Court on three points -- justice, equality and dignity of women.

Prasad had about a week ago had asked why Triple Talaq as practiced in India cannot be regulated when the same has been regulated by Pakistan and other Muslim countries.

“We respect the freedom of religious sentiments, provided they are constitutional. Moreover, in 20 Muslim countries, triple talaq has been regulated, including in Pakistan.

"If Islamic countries could regulate triple talaq without being voilative of sharia, how can such an argument be made in case of India, which is a secular country” he asked.

Prasad was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of his visit to Sri Krishna Mutt here on Wednesday.

“Our position is that triple talaq is bad on the grounds of gender justice, gender dignity and gender equality. Our constitution respects women’s dignity and triple talaq in that way is unconstitutional,” he said.

Interestingly, contrary to what Prasad is repeatedly saying, BJP president whi;e addressing an election rally in Uttar Pradesh had said the BJP will consult with Muslim women on the Triple Talaq and then take a stand on the issue.

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. (Read more about Triple Talaq by clicking here.)

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.


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