Pune: Triple talaq victims on Friday heaved a sigh of relief and welcomed the bill moved by the Union Cabinet to makes triple talaq a criminal offence.
The Muslim Women (protection of rights and marriage) Bill proposed to make triple talaq or instant verbal divorce a criminal offence, inviting up to three years of imprisonment. According to the bill, a woman victim can seek legal aid on being verbally divorced by her husband. The bill will now have to be passed by both houses of Parliament.
The Supreme Court (SC) had earlier banned instant triple talaq in all forms, oral, written or electronic, and pronounced it a cognisable offence.
"The law to mark triple talaq a crime has to be formed cautiously as there are many aspects of the issue to be looked into. Verbal pronouncement of divorce will be difficult to be proved in court.
In such cases, the accused can get away by saying he had never divorced his wife in that manner. Then the case will act as a boomerang. So, keeping such possibilities in mind, they have to make a proper law," said Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal (MSM) President Shamsuddin Tamboli.
It has been over one-and-a-half years that Shaikh Kareem Usman has been running from pillar to post to seek justice for his 22-year-old daughter, whose husband had verbally divorced her.
"The entire legal procedure of seeking justice has drained me emotionally and physically. All my efforts to settle the matter with the boy's family have gone in vain. I have also agreed to purchase a house for them for my daughter's well-being, but they have now backed out. This positive development has brought respite and and hope to us. Men in our community won't be so casual, careless and insensitive to pronounce verbal divorce. They will be cautious now, realising that there is a law above them," said Usman.
"Moreover, I would request that triple talaq cases be dealt with in a fast-track court, which will help immediately in a majority of such cases," added Usman.
Shahanaz Shaikh is another victim and has been fighting for justice for years. Her husband has been asking for an out-of-court settlement. Shaikh said, "It is necessary to adjudicate on triple talaq. Men will now fear the law. It will help curb, if not stop, the practice of triple talaq. Men don't realise what kind of loss women undergo in this process, not only mentally but physically as well."