Wednesday , 21 February 2018
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Khurshid slams Centre over criminalisation of triple talaq

PANAJI: Questioning the central government’s move over criminalisation of ‘triple talaq’, former Union minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday asked that if the man is convicted for the instant ‘triple talaq’ how would he be able to provide for the woman.

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the ongoing ‘Difficult Dialogues’ conference, Khurshid pointed out that the instant  ‘triple talaq’ does not have any validity in Islam and in the Indian law.

According to the Islamic law, when man pronounces the talaq the first time then there is a three months period, that is required to tell if the wife is carrying a baby in her womb or not, he said.

Following that the word can be uttered a second time with the intention of giving the talaq, but up to that stage it can be taken back; if not, the talaq can become final, Khurshid explained.

“And even if it (talaq) becomes final at the end of three months, the rights of the woman will remain if you say talaq once or three times. There is no such thing as the triple instantaneous talaq,” he maintained.

In this light, he questioned the government’s move to criminalise the man who utters the words, pointing out that The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986 provides for the maintenance during the period of the three months, and within the period there has to be a provision, which has been interpreted by the Danial Latifi case in the Supreme Court to mean a fulltime settlement for life like alimony.

“Provision and maintenance together in the 1986 Act are the keywords… what does the first legislation provides as a sustenance allowance, and what does a sustenance allowance mean in the 1986 Act? These are fundamental questions that need to be asked,” Khurshid said.

“I would be happy to support anything that makes sense, but what is the (new) bill going to do if there is no such thing as ‘triple talaq’. You can’t refute something that doesn’t exist. Why do you need a legislation to say that? And why do you have to punish someone for the meaningless words they utter,” he asked.

He also spoke about the Opposition’s efforts to mobilise people to understand that the government’s move could have adverse effect. “We have to try to explain to people why the BJP is trying to do something that has no basis at all, and how it will have an adverse impact.”

When asked to comment on Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s comment about women drinking beer, Khurshid cited the example of the Home Minister in Rajasthan promoting drinking of cow urine amongst people.

“I think we should be more worried about people drinking cow urine than people drinking beer; that too in a place like Goa… I don’t think these comments deserve any comments.”

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