A petition in Delhi High Court challenged the criminalizing of Triple Talaq, saying that it violates the rights of Muslim husbands. The petition alleged that since Triple Talaq has been declared to be void by the Supreme Court, it cannot be considered a criminal offence.
The petition filed by a Delhi based lawyer says that there are chances of the law being misused, as the legislation has no mechanism to ascertain the truthfulness of such allegations. Moreover, it also added that Triple Talaq violates the natural justice and the fundamental rights of citizens.
Shuts Down Room For Compromise
According to the petition filed by Advocate Shahid Ali, criminalizing the practice of triple talaq and making it a non-bailable offense, punishable with three years of imprisonment would shut down all room for compromise between the husband and wife. The bench dealing with the petition consists of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar.
The petition also argued that since Triple Talaq has been declared void by the Supreme Court, it cannot be considered a criminal offence, simple wrong or civil wrong. Ali said the Act is violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution and is liable to be struck down.
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A similar petition in Apex court
Yet another petition on the similar lines remains pending in the Supreme Court. Both the petitions filed in Delhi High Court, and the one in Apex court by a Kerala-based organisation called Samastha Kerala Jamiathul Ulema, have alleged that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 violates fundamental rights of Muslim husbands.
“The Act has introduced penal legislation, specific to a class of persons based on religious identity. It is causative of grave public mischief, which, if unchecked, may lead to polarization and disharmony in society,” reads the plea filed in the apex court, as per a report in India Today.
The Delhi High Court said that it will continue the proceedings on October 18. The high court petition has also alleged that the intentions of the central government are “mala fide and ultra vires” of the Constitution as well as the Supreme Court judgment, which declared instant and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband void and illegal.
“Criminalising the practice of instant triple talaq and making it a non-bailable offence punishable with three years of imprisonment would shut down all room for compromise between the husband and wife,” said Ali.
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No Mechanism To separate truth from lies
The petition in high court also claims that there are chances of the law being misused, as the legislation has no mechanism to ascertain the truthfulness of such allegations. Moreover, it also added that Triple Talaq violates the natural justice and the fundamental rights of the citizen.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 was been passed in the Lok Sabha on July 26. The two aforementioned petitions came one day after President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the new legislation. A total of 303 votes in favour of the bill decided its fate in the Lok Sabha, while 82 votes were cast against it. Even after the action is criminalized, a number of cases of Triple Talaq have come to light.
Image Credit: The Hindustan Times
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