New Delhi, Dec 30: After getting triple talaq bill passed the Lok Sabha on Thursday, Muslim women activists are now seeking ban on polygamy and the practice of Nikah Halala. Jubilant after the legislative win, Muslim women said polygamy is more atrocious than instant triple talaq. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill proposes three years of imprisonment to the husbands giving instant triple talaq to their wives. Also Read - Amid Lockdown, Supreme Court Grants Rs 4 Lakh to Woman Rendered Homeless
The women, advocate Farah Faiz, Rizwana, Razia, who had waged a fight against triple talaq and polygamy in the Supreme Court, said that the Congress government had missed the chance to bring reforms in 1985 but it has finally been achieved. “A new beginning has been made which would protect Muslim women from immoral practice of nikah halala,” said Faiz. [Also read: BJP Dedicates Triple Talaq Bill To Arif Mohammad Khan After Lok Sabha Gives Its Nod] Also Read - COVID-19: As Country Goes Into Lockdown Mode, SC to Conduct Hearings Via Video Conferencing
‘Nikah halala’ is a practice intended to curb incidences of divorce. Abiding the practice, a man cannot remarry his former wife without her having to go through the process of marrying someone else, consummating it, getting divorced, observing the separation period called ‘Iddat’ and then coming back to him. Also Read - Shaheen Bagh Wears a Deserted Look as Delhi Imposes Lockdown Over Coronavirus
“I welcome the move but now men will take undue advantage of the law and indulge in polygamy openly as it is still in practice. With polygamy still in practice, abolition of triple talaq cannot alone not help us,” said Rizwana. A victim of polygamy, Rizawna, was divorced by her husband after she gave birth to girl child.
“I was given triple talaq by my husband on phone as he did not want to bring up our two daughters. Triple talaq is a crime and has spoilt many lives. I pray that all women like me get justice with this new law. However, I wish that the practice of polygamy is also banned.” added Rizwana.
Sharing similar concerns, Advocate Chandra Rajan who represented All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) in the Supreme Court, said the government should have also defined Sharia in the law to put a complete ban on triple talaq.
“We are disappointed only on one count that Sharia was not defined by the government in the law. As long as Sharia is not defined, confusion and misuse of such practices will prevail,” said Rajan.”The best thing the law proposes is that custody of minor child will be given to the mother. This happened with Shah Bano who was the victim of triple talaq and one of the petitioners in the Supreme Court,” she added.
(With inputs from agencies)