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Ban oral, unilateral and triple talaq: Central govt panel

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A high-level committee set up by the Central govt to review the status of women in India has sought a ban on the practice of oral, unilateral and triple talaq or divorce, as well as polygamy.

On Monday, the Supreme Court, while hearing a plea on the divorce norms, directed the Centre to produce the report within six weeks. The apex court was hearing a plea by a Muslim woman from Uttarakhand against her triple talaq.

The writ petition over this issue was filed by Shayara Bano from Uttarakhand. She was from Kashipur in Uttarakhand and a victim of triple talaq in 2015..

The petition states that instantaneous triple talaq has no foundation in the Quran and many Islamic nations such as Pakistan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia have banned or restricted such practices.

The report backs the demand for the ban on the grounds that such talaq renders “wives extremely vulnerable and insecure regarding their marital status”.

The panel has not only recommended specific amendments to the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939 but also suggested introducing provisions to provide for interim maintenance.

The report states that payment of maintenance to the wife and children must be made mandatory in the event of separation or divorce.

Expressing concern over the report, Kamal Faruqui, a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board says, “I have not seen the report, but any suggestion to ban triple talaq or polygamy is not acceptable to us. This will mean direct interference of the government in religious affairs as Sharia (Islamic law) is based on the Quran and Hadith, and its jurisprudence is strong as far as Islam is concerned. This would be against the Constitutional right to freedom of religion,”

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