A delegation of Gujarat Muslim Hitrakshak Samiti, a conglomerate of several Muslim organisations in the state, on Tuesday called on state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki and requested the Congress not to support the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 when it is tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha a week ago with a voice vote. Though the Congress had demanded amendments in certain provisions of the Bill, it did not push for it during the discussion on the Bill.
Stating that the Triple Talaq Bill, introduced by the Central government was “unnecessary and against the Sharia and the rights of women”, the delegation members, including women, said, “The Bill is not only against Article 25 of the Constitution of India which guarantees religious freedom, but also goes against the recent judgment of the Supreme Court on the issue of triple talaq. It is being said that the Bill has been introduced to protect the rights of divorced women, but when the triple talaq itself shall not be legal and a valid form of divorce, then how can punishment be awarded for it? In Article 5 of the Bill, it is mentioned that the husband shall take the responsibility of maintaining the divorced wife and his children. The question is when the husband, who issues triple talaq, will be behind bars, how will he take care of his divorced wife and children? Then, after spending three years in jail, how could it be expected that the husband would be able to resume a happy married life with his wife?”
The delegation said that while the Centre declared that it was introducing the Bill regarding Sharia laws, strangely it did not deem it necessary to consult Islamic scholars, Sharia experts and representatives of Muslim women organisations. They alleged that the Bill was brought by BJP government with a political agenda. They said, “The BJP government at the Centre also wants to promote its agenda of communal polarisation by curbing the right to religious freedom of Muslims and hence, it is absolutely necessary to defeat it.” The memorandum added: “It appears that the BJP government wants to fill the jails with Muslims and destroy Muslim families.”
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