Many Congress MPs doubted necessity of Shah Bano law: Sheila Dikshit

Many Congress MPs doubted necessity of Shah Bano law: Sheila Dikshit

New Delhi [India]: Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday said that many of the Congress MPs “had doubts about the necessity” of such a legislation, that was brought in by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s government to overturn the Shah Bano verdict of the Supreme Court.

“The party had issued a whip then but there was a certain discomfort among MPs about it and they had doubts about the necessity of such a law,” Dikshit told ANI.

Shah Bano, a Muslim mother of five from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, was divorced by her husband in 1978. She filed a criminal suit in the Supreme Court, in which she won the right to receive alimony from her husband.

However, Muslims mounted a campaign for the verdict’s nullification.

The Indian Parliament reversed the judgement under pressure from Islamic orthodoxy and The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986. The judgement in favour of the woman, in this case, evoked criticisms among Muslims some of whom cited Qur’an to show that the judgement was in conflict with Islamic law.

This case caused the Congress government, with its absolute majority, to pass the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 which diluted the judgment of the Supreme Court and restricted the right of Muslim divorcees to alimony from their former husbands. (ANI)