Vimarsh: Talk on ‘Why Triple Talaq should be made a punishable Offense’, by Sh Arif Mohammad Khan, at the Vivekananda Internatinal Foundation (VIF), 19 Jul 2019
Welcome Remarks by the Director, Dr Arvind Gupta

Dear Friends,

I would like to welcome you to today’s Vimarsh Talk by Sh Arif Mohammad Khan, on ‘Why Triple Talaq should be made a Punishable Offence’. The topic is highly relevant, as the new government has introduced a fresh bill in Lok Sabha on the subject in Jun 2019. And no one would be better than Sh Arif Mohammad Khan to talk on this rather controversial subject.

As you know, Sh Arif Mohammad Khan has held varied ministerial responsibilities from 1984 to 1990. He was the State Minister of Agriculture (1983-84), Energy (1984-85) and Industry and Co Affairs, Home Affairs (1985-86).He also served as Cabinet Minister of Energy and Civil Aviation (1989-90). Mr. Khan began his political career as a student leader. He was the president of the Aligarh Muslim University Student Union in 1972-73. After joining the Indian National Congress, he was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980 from Kanpur and again from Baharaich in 1984 and reelected in 1989. He quit the Indian National Congress on account of differences with Sh Rajiv Gandhi on Shah Bano case.

He is the author of the best-selling book of the year 2010 Text And Context; Quran and Contemporary Challenges. He writes regularly on Islam and Sufism. Mr. Arif Mohammad Khan is also a member of the VIF’s Advisory Council.

Friends, In 2017, a five-member Supreme Court bench had declared the triple talaq process as unconstitutional. It said that triple Talaq violated “constitutional morality” as well as tenets of the Holy Quran.Many Islamic countries, including Pakistan have banned triple Talaq. The previous government brought a bill banning triple Talaq in Lok Sabha in Dec 2017. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha but could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. The government followed with an ordnance to implement the Supreme Court orders. The ordnance was promulgated in Sep 2018 and re-promulgated in Feb 2019. The bill lapsed with the end of the terms of 16th Lok Sabha in May.

The new government has brought a fresh bill to the parliament to replace the ordnance. The bill declares instant triple Talaq as a cognizable offence and provides a 3-year jail term to the husband who seeks instant divorce through the triple Talaq route. The jail punishment has proved to be the most controversial part of the bill. Apprehensions have been raised that the provision could work against the interest of the victim and can also be misused.

Sh Arif Mohammad Khan has had a long association with issues of the Muslim community. He is also well versed in the Quran and Islamic philosophy. He is well placed to talk about this complex issue.

I request Sh Arif Mohammad Khan to deliver his talk.

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