The woman, 21, married Mujammil Shaikh, 25, in 2018. Eight months later, on July 14, 2019, her husband and in-laws beat her up over excess salt in food and threw her out of the house. Since then, she has been living with her parents in Malvani. Her family made every effort to bring them back together, but the husband’s side did not agree. In 2019, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act was passed to criminalise the instant form of triple talaq among Muslims. However, Talaq-e-Rajaee can be revoked if the couple decides to reconcile within the Iddah or waiting cooling-off period, the clerics pointed out.
The police booked Mujammil Shaikh on October 27 after his wife filed a complaint against him and three others, including his lawyer and two witnesses who signed on the Talaq-e-Rajaee. They booked him under Sections 3 (Talaq to be void and illegal) and 4 (punishment for pronouncing talaq) of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019. However, the clerics say Talaq-e-Rajaee, a revocable form of divorce and which has a cooling-off period, does not come under this act.
MUSLIM clerics have slammed the Malvani police for booking a man under the recently passed act against triple talaq, which has criminalised instant divorce in Muslims after he sent a Talaq-e-Rajaee notice to his wife. The police say their decision was justified, but the clerics say Talaq-e-Rajaee is a revocable form of divorce and is executed after three months and 10 days of serving the notice. The woman has also alleged that she was beaten and thrown out of the in-laws’ house and even harassed for dowry. Police say Talaq-e-Rajaee notices the man sent to his wife comes under the purview of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, but clerics say the couple has a chance of reconciliation in this case. The act statutorily provides any pronouncement of talaq by a Muslim husband upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal. Any Muslim husband who pronounces talaq upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine. A married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced shall be entitled to receive from her husband such amount of subsistence allowance, for her and dependent children, as may be determined by the Magistrate. A married Muslim woman shall be entitled to custody of her minor children in the event of pronouncement of talaq by her husband, in such manner as may be determined by the Magistrate. An offence punishable under this Act shall be cognizable, if information relating to the commission of the offence is given to an officer in charge of a police station by the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced or any person related to her by blood or marriage; an offence punishable under this Act shall be compoundable, at the instance of the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced with the permission of the Magistrate, on such terms and conditions as he may determine;
No person accused of an offence punishable under this Act shall be released on bail unless the Magistrate, on an application filed by the accused and after hearing the married Muslim woman, upon whom talaq is pronounced, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail to such person. The 2017 bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 27 December 2018, However, in the Rajya Sabha, the opposition demanded it to be sent to the Standing Committee. As the bill stood not passed in the parliamentary session, an ordinance which had made the bill operative, expired on 22 January 2019. The government re-promulgated an identical bill on 10 January 2019. This bill was passed in the Lok Sabha but was again stalled in the Rajya Sabha. The bill lapsed again when the Parliamentary session adjourned sine die in April 2019.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019 was to expire on 29 August 2019, six weeks after the start of the parliamentary session, post the 2019 Indian general elections. The government introduced a new bill in the Lok Sabha on 21 June 2019. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on 25 July 2019. and by the Rajya Sabha on 30 July 2019. The bill was assented to by the President, Ram Nath Kovind, on 31 July 2019. It was subsequently notified in the gazette on the same day. The act is retrospectively effective from 19 September 2018. The government had formulated the bill claiming 100 cases of instant triple talaq, since the Supreme Court judgement in August 2017 prohibiting triple talaq in India.
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