According to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, if the practice of triple talaq is stopped then a man can go on to murder or burn his wife if he wants to get rid of her, The Indian Express reported. In an affidavit submitted to the court by the board, it said, “If there develops serious discord between the couple, and the husband does not at all want to live with her, legal compulsions of time-consuming separation proceedings and expenses may deter him from taking the legal course. In such instances, he may resort to illegal, criminal ways of murdering or burning her alive.
Taking the shocking argument even further, AIMPLB said that if there are legal proceedings instead of triple talaq, it can damage a woman’s reputation and her chances of marrying again will be reduced if the man accuses her of ‘loose character’. Apart from saying that the number of murders is reduced it triple talaq stays, the affidavit also stated that “Granting a husband the right to divorce indirectly provides security to the wife. Marriage is a contract in which both parties are not physically equal. The male is stronger and female weaker sex. The man is not dependent on the woman for his protection. On the contrary, she needs him for her defence.
Asking the Supreme Court to stay away from the issue, it said that the court cannot lay hands on the issues of marriage and talaq since they are a part of religious and cultural rights of Muslims.
Senior advocates Yusuf Hatim Muchhala and Huzefa A Ahmadi settled the affidavit which said, “Personal laws of a community cannot be rewritten in the name of social reform.
The affidavit claimed that Article 44 of the Uniform Civil Code is only a Directive Principle of State Policy, hence cannot be enforced.
The board also supported polygamy, terming it as a ‘social need’ and also a ‘blessing’ for women and supported it with the argument that, “an unlawful mistress is more harmful to social fabric than a lawful second wife” and if polygamy is not permitted, women will be led into a ‘spinster’s life’. The AIMPLB cited surveys which claim that the Muslim community has the lowest rate of polygamy in the country.
It accused ‘communal’ institutions of running propaganda against polygamy to instil fear in the majority community. The affidavit found it “rather strange” that the Indian law recognises live-in relationships will not allow a relationship bound by marriage.
According to the board, Muslim Personal Law which is based on the holy book, Quran, provided adequate rights for Muslim women and which are guaranteed under Article 25 and 26 read with Article 29 of the Indian Constitution.
The board said that while pronouncing triple talaq was not desirable, it claimed that various jurists have agreed that, it serves the purpose of ending the bond of marriage, regardless of the regularity of the said word.
A PIL filed by a Muslim woman was sought by the board to get dismissed according to The Indian Express report. She had challenged the validity of instantaneous and unilateral pronouncement of triple talaq and also sought a ban on polygamy.