Is the end of instant triple talaq the beginning for Uniform Civil Code? Debate begins
The Supreme Court's verdict on triple talaq has sparked off a nationwide debate on whether Uniform civil code is the next step. While the law commission is considering the possibility of reforming defective practices in personal laws of all religions, fear of misusing Supreme Court's order to diminish religious practices also looms large.
"Arbitrary personal laws cannot seek refuge under the Freedom of Religion right. Equality before Law is supreme," the Supreme Court held on Tuesday. This very observation may now be the foundation of a Uniform civil code. The observation makes way for the law commission to omit all practices in personal laws of every religion that are discriminatory but will that interfere with religious beliefs will be the big question.
The debate over whether this should lead the way for uniform civil code began right after the Supreme Court's verdict.Prominent and controversial writer Taslima Nasreen was one of the first to push for Uniform Civil code after the verdict on triple talaq.
Abolish misogynistic org Muslim Personal Law Board which is against Muslims' human rights. Introduce uniform civil code based on equality.— taslima nasreen (@taslimanasreen) August 22, 2017
Concerns, however, have been raised by various quarters. Many, including Muslim organisations, agreed with Chief Justice of India J S Khehar's observations.According to reports, the Law Commission is considering whether the different waiting periods for women to finalise divorce in various religions is a violation of their rights. It is also considering whether bringing about any change to fix a uniform timeline would be a violation of religious practices and beliefs.
The question of the right to property is also a matter of concern for the Law commission. The triple talaq order has now led the Law commission to look into various aspects of compulsory marriage registration, the time frame for divorce or annulment of marriage, monogamy, the age of consent for marriage, right to property. The commission is, however, sure that no decisions will be made in haste and consensus will be arrived at for each matter of concern.
Meanwhile, organisations like Jamat-e-Islami fear that the current government could misuse the verdict. "Talaq is a three-stage process prescribed by the Shariah. It involves counselling, mediation, and the time and space for a possible reunion between estranged couples. Yes, instant talaq is wrong and ended up inviting court's interference. The government should frame a legislation that protects women as well as religious practices. This should not become the basis to push for uniform Civil Code," was Jamat-e-Islami's stand.
The debate still rages on on social media, on television debates, the law commission as well as Muslim organisations including the personal law board.