Critical appraisal of Talaq-e-biddat bill and a way forward
Shahnawaz Ahmad, Neelam Faizan
To protect the rights of married Muslim women and to prohibit divorce by pronouncing talaq by their husbands and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto a Bill called the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 has been introduced in the LokSabha which is going to affect the development of Legal system in India and the very basic unit of the society i.e. the institution of marriage. Talaq-e-Biddat is made punishable, it is like punishment for a breach of a void agreement or void contract, or punishment for a void act or punishment for an "act" which is not an offence. The marriage between a Muslim man and a Muslim woman is a civil contract and the procedure to be followed in case of a breaking of matrimonial tie should be civil in nature and not criminal. The Bill has mingle it in between “civil nature & civil wrong” and prescribes punishment as criminal act without defining the crime. The remedy to a contractual wrong should not be introduced as a criminal offence. It is like deviation from well settled law on Criminal Jurisprudence. If talaq-e-biddat is null and void and it would have no impact on the marriages then what is the need of allowances and custody of children. There are a number of provisions in different laws that makes offences relating to marriage as non- ognizable & bailable. The main reason of making offences relating to marriage non- cognizable & bailable is that the Police should not interfere into the family matters as the family is considered to be the very basic unit of the society. These provisions are keeping police out of preview of family affairs; otherwise the Police will get unfettered power to interfere into family affairs, interference by the police in such matters will destroy the very basic unit of the society and can lead to chaos in the society.