NEW DELHI: Slamming the Narendra Modi government for pushing forth its communal agenda while ignoring objections by various quarters on the Bill on Triple Talaq, the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) has demanded immediate repeal of the ordinace promulgated on September 19.
"It is a matter of concern that without any demonstrable urgency or expediency (as mandated under Article 123 of the Constitution), a controversial Ordinance has been issued by the Union Government at this juncture," AIDWA said in a press statement, adding that this was "particularly objectionable since Triple Talaq is no longer a valid form of divorce as per the judgement of the Supreme Court in Shayara Bano’s case."
Since the apex court's pronouncement, Triple Talaq is already void and has no effect on the marital status of the parties in the eyes of the law, the statement said.
It said the ordinance was an attempt to undermine the democratic process since many organisations, including AIDWA , had demanded that the Muslim women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, pending in the Rajya Sabha, should be referred to a Select Committee for further discussion and debate before being brought in as a law.
AIDWA also came down heavily on the government was passing the ordinance while completely ignoring the objections from many quarters to the criminalisation of a civil offence.
"It has prescribed a punishment of upto three years imprisonment for pronouncement of triple talaq and made the crime cognizable and non-bailable. While the Ordinance prescribes that only a wife can file the complaint, the law still remains a draconian one," it said adding that it "exposes the communal agenda of the RSS-BJP and its flawed approach to the protection of muslim women’s rights."
The women's organisation pointed out that currently, along with the pronouncement of triple talaq, if a wife complains of being subjected to mental and/or physical cruelty, she can take recourse to the law and register a case under Section 498A IPC.
"Moreover, putting a husband in Jail would affect a wife’s maintenance rights as the husband will stop earning. This and other allied needs like a home and other property rights is what a woman requires the most when she is abandoned," it said adding that the ordinance also reveals the Government’s "limited and patriarchal mindset when it allows a women to approach the magistrate’s court only for a subsistence allowance."
Demanding immediate repeal of the ordinance, AIDWA said instead the Bill pending in Parliament should be referred to a Select Committee for discussion, before being passed, "so that true justice can be meted out to the affected women."