On Triple Talaq And Uniform Civil Code, A Questionnaire Outs New Heat: 10 Points

Public response has been sought on triple talaq and uniform civil code. (Representational)

Highlights

  • Government says Muslim practice of triple talaq must end
  • Online questionnaire asks for public response
  • Muslim decision-making body says this violates religious freedom
New Delhi: The top decision-making body for Muslims says the freedom of religious minorities is being violated by a public questionnaire that asks for feedback on ending the practice of triple talaq.

Here is your 10-point guide to this big controversy:

  1. The government last week told the Supreme Court that it wants to end triple talaq, which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by saying "talaq" three times.

  2. A questionnaire posted online seeks the public's response to whether a uniform civil code should be introduced in India.

  3. What this means is that Muslims and other minorities, like Christians and Parsis, would lose their existing right to apply their own civil code or laws for family matters including marriage, divorce and inheritance.

  4. This is illegal, says the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which has told the Supreme Court that any intervention in its family law amounts to violating the Muslim community's fundamental rights.

  5. The questionnaire soliciting public opinion on "all possible models and templates of a common civil code" has been placed online by the National Law Commission, which advises the government on legal reform.

  6. "We don't want to force any majority view on minorities," said the body's top boss, Justice BS Chauhan to NDTV. "We are here to find out the will of the people. We have put the questionnaire in the public domain so that stake holders may respond."

  7. People can offer their feedback, but the Muslim Personal Law Board says it will boycott the questionnaire, which, it claims, proves that the law commission works as "an agent of the government" instead of as an independent body.

  8. The government has said that triple talaq violates the right to equality of women, as well as their dignity, and "has no place in a secular country."

  9. The petition being considered by the Supreme Court also seeks an end to polygamy and 'halala', which mandates that if a woman wants to go back to her husband after a divorce, she must first consummate her marriage with another man.

  10. Women's rights activists have long called for reform of the Muslim personal law which they say discriminates against women. What they want instead is a well-defined law that criminalises polygamy, unilateral divorce and child marriage.


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