BJP marks anniversary of passage of triple talaq law as Muslim Women’s Rights Day, Union ministers hail PM Modi

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is observing the first anniversary of the passage of the triple talaq bill in Parliament as the Muslim Women’s Rights Day on Friday as several Union ministers tweeted to hail the law that criminalises the practice of granting an instant divorce.

The law, formally called the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, was passed in last year after intense debates in both the lower and upper houses of Parliament, with opposition parties stating it targeted the Muslim community even as the centre asserted that it would help achieve gender justice for Muslim women.

The ruling BJP pitched the ban on instant triple talaq as a huge step for the empowerment of women and several ministers, including law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, tweeted to call it a historic step.

“From Shah Bano to Shaira Bano, Muslim women have been facing triple talaqs for decades and denied the right to respect and equality in society. On 1 August 2019, the Modi government enacted a law against triple talaq to get Muslim women free from this practice,” the BJP tweeted.

“Today on 31st July 2020 we will celebrate it as #MuslimWomenRightsDay. This day will always be remembered as a golden day in the Indian democracy for giving gender justice, dignity and equality to muslim women by ending the evil practice of #TripleTalaq,” law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted.

“Triple Talaq Bill has been proved to be a historic step of PM Shri @narendramodi Ji’s Govt to ensure socio-economic, fundamental, democratic rights of Muslim women,” Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tweeted.

V Muraleedharan, junior foreign minister, pointed out that there has been an 82% decline in cases of the triple talaq within a year of the implementation of the law.

“A sound legal framework put in place by @narendramodi govt ensured safety, security to Muslim women & contributed significantly to their empowerment,” Muraleedharan also posted.

“A special thank you to all the brave Muslim women who challenged this inhuman practice in Supreme Court & got it declared unconstitutional & violative of Article 14 of the #Constitution,” Muraleedharan added.

Smriti Irani, the women and child development minister, attacked the Congress for not doing enough for Muslim women.

“In the 1980s, Congress had time and numbers to do justice to Muslim women. But vote bank was more important for them and not justice to Muslim women. They never aimed to better the lives of Muslim women,” Smriti Irani was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Pralhad Joshi, parliamentary affairs minister, also praised the Prime Minister for doing away with the “regressive practice”.

“It took the nation leadership of a visionary Prime Minister, Shri @narendramodi ji to come out of the regressive practice of triple talaq. Today we celebrate 1 year of the historic moment which has been a symbol of women empowerment and liberty,” Joshi tweeted.

The Supreme Court had in August 2017 declared the practice of talaq-e-biddat or a form of divorce based on a husband pronouncing divorce thrice in quick succession or as unconstitutional. The practise is banned in most Muslim countries including Pakistan.

The verdict came on a petition of five Muslim women, including lead petitioner Shayara Bano, who were abandoned after their husbands pronounced instant divorce.

The Centre initially issued an ordinance after the verdict to criminalise the practice of triple talaq for the want of majority in Parliament’s upper house, or Rajya Sabha, before bringing the Law.

According to the law, the practice of instant triple talaq is a cognizable offence or one in which the police may carry out an arrest without a warrant, and is used for serious crimes such as theft, rape and murder.

Section 4 of the act punishes a guilty Muslim man with three years of imprisonment and also make him liable to pay a fine.