Community courts suggested to curb triple talaq

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New Delhi, Jan 23: A group of Muslim women on Tuesday proposed setting up of community courts to curb the practice of triple talaq in the country.

The Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andola (BMMA) suggested that community courts should be made part of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill — a legislation that criminalises the practice of instant verbal divorce — which is stalled in the Rajya Sabha.

“Getting justice from Indian legal system is costly and time consuming that is why proposal of grass-rooted parallel community (courts) will help limit the exploitation of Muslim women,” BMMA activist Zakia Soman told reporters here. 

The group was one of the petitioners in the case which led the Supreme Court to ban triple talaq. 

The group said it consulted almost 60,000 Muslim women across India to know their opinions about the ways to curb the triple talaq practice which is not followed in major Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt.

Soman said they found that most of the Muslim women they spoke with were of the opinion that wives should have equal say in deciding divorce matters and claim maintenance from their estranged husbands.

“All the affected women in divorce matters feel the need for a law to check talaq-e-bidah,” she said. 

The survey was conducted in collaboration with other organisations like Roshni and Muslim Women Personal Law Board.

Noorjehan Safia Niaz, an activist of the group, said salient features of the triple talaq should elaborate on the procedures of the divorce based on talaq-e-ehsan that involves “reconciliation, mediation, dialogue between the husband and wife over a minimum ninety days period”. 

Niaz said the responsibility of carrying out the procedure should lie entirely on the husband.