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Triple Talaq: Is criminalizing a civil offence assures rights to Muslim women asks Congress

New Delhi: While ruling party eagerly wants to criminalize instant Triple-Talaq making it a national criminal offence which happens to be a civil offence, Congress MP Sushmita Dev has spoken about the political row on the Muslim Practice criticizing the government’s bill passed yesterday in Lok Sabha.

Even though the opposition party has not outright opposed the Bill but it strongly countered each of the clause presented in the legislation suggesting criminalizing a civil offense would only worsen the issue instead of solving women concern.

“By criminalising a civil offence, with three years of imprisonment, the government is not introducing a deterrent. There are several unanswered questions like how would the government ensure the Muslim woman’s right to subsistence allowance if her husband is in jail. The law does not give any chance of reconciliation to the couple,” Dev said.

Congress had also pointed out that as of now there is no provision in law or clarity that would financially support a woman legally fighting against her husband and also there is so far no clarity on the rights of women on whether or not she would be entitled to subsistence allowance along with his assets.

In the eye of law for any criminal offence, ‘mensrea’ should be present, that is the intent to commit the crime, planning and execution of the plan, and “In case a husband comes forward and says he did not have the intention and said the words in rage, can the wife handle the burden of proof ? That he had criminal intent?” asked Dev.

Congress had also pointed out at the term of the punishment that is three years of imprisonment which is usually awarded for offences like rioting and creating enmity between religious groups, then how do u explain awarding this punishment for a civil matter.

The opposition party giving its nod had referred the Bill to a standing committee of Parliament but the ruling party had rejected the suggestion passing the Bill in Lok Sabha. Congress has also indicated at other women-centric issues like marital rape, which the Government has refrained from speaking on.

The party had also asked where is women empowerment in all and aware of the that it could be seen as being anti-women empowerment if it opposes the bill strongly, Congress added it did not get the required support to pass a bill on women’s reservation which favoured 33% reservation for women in Parliament and legislatures. “The government does not need this bill. We need a Bill on empowerment,” Congress said, ET now reported.

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