Amravati: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) members on Monday met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu seeking cooperation to fight against the proposed Muslim Women Bill (Triple Talaq) 2018 in the Parliament. The Chief Minister assured his cooperation over the issue. (Also read: AIMPLB Issues Code of Conduct; Here’s What it Says)

The Board’s meeting is in line with its plan to approach Opposition parties to prevent Parliament from clearing the ordinance. It had said that it would take steps to ensure that the Triple Talaq Bill was not passed in the Rajya Sabha during the winter session.

In a press conference, AIMPLB member Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas said the Muslim Board members were ready to move the Supreme Court in case the Bill was passed and accepted. IIyas added that even women were not comfortable with the format of the Bill. A report by India Today quoted Qasim Rasool Ilyas as saying, “We have decided that our members will be approaching leaders of opposition parties especially Rajya Sabha members so that the Triple Talaq ordinance is not cleared by the Parliament. This ordinance goes against the interests of Muslim women.”

The Union Cabinet had, on September 19 this year, passed the ordinance to make changes in the provisions of the Triple Talaq Bill. The ordinance was thereafter signed by President Ram Nath Kovind. Triple Talaq, also known as talaq-e-biddat, is a centuries-old practice through which Muslim men divorce their wives by uttering the word “talaq” thrice in quick succession.

According to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Ordinance 2018, the practice of instant triple talaq is illegal and void. The man who divorces his wife through triple talaq will be awarded a three-year jail term. However, as a precaution measure, the government has a bail provision for the accused just before trial in case any tampering of the law is found. The amendments made were cleared by the Cabinet on August 29.

Last year, the Supreme Court had, by a 3-2 decision, struck down the practice of instant triple talaq. However, a minority judgment concluded that “talaq-e-biddat” was a matter of personal law of Muslims that does not breach the Constitution’s Article 25 (right to practise one’s religion).