Congress leader Hussain Dalwai addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Congress leader Hussain Dalwai addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday.

New Delhi: Even as the Supreme Court is seized of Talaq and other practices under the Muslim personal law, Congress member Husain Dalwai from Maharashtra introduced a private member”s Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Friday seeking to codification of the personal law regarding the triple Talaq.

“India must join the league of many other Muslim countries like Iraq, Turkey and our neighbours Bangladesh and Pakistan, which have codified the law related to divorce, thereby bringing certainty and removing discrimination in the application of personal laws,” Dalwai noted in the statement of objects and reasons for moving the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Bill, 2016.

The Bill seeks to abolish the practice of instant triple talaq and suggest a procedure for allowing both husband and wife enough time to reconsider, irrespective of whether it is a divorce through court and effected outside the courts.

Also, it seeks to end the practice of halala, by which a divorced woman has to marry another man, consummate the marriage and divorce him if she wants to remarry her previous husband. Dalwai insists that his Bill draws heavily on settled legal jurisprudence and relies on credible interpretations of the Quran to codify the Quranic injunctions on Talaq in letter and spirit.

“This will not only ensure there is no discrimination between men and women in circumstances of dissolution of marriage, but guards against the infringement of the rights of the Muslim community to practice their religion and conduct their lives as per their faith,” he said.

Conscious that the BJP will jump over enforcement of a uniform civil code during debate on the Bill, Dalwai insisted that his Bill pertains to the single-point issue of divorce and end the gender discrimination arising out of the misuse of the triple Talaq and as such it should not open up as a challenge to the Muslim personal law.

On the subject of a uniform civil code, he said this was regularly flagged by the BJP and its allies to provoke Muslims when other communities, too, were not reconciled to it.

Hundreds of private members” Bills have been brought in both the Houses of Parliament over the years as an MP”s right to push for own legislation if the government does not accept a demand to bring one, but so far only 15 such Bills were passed by either House.

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Free Press Journal