Cops slammed by Muslim clerics

Malvani police slammed by the Muslim clerics for booking a man after he sent a Talaq-e-Rajaee notice to his wife. Recently an act was passed against triple talaq, which has criminalized instant divorce in Muslims. The police said their act 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.

In 2019, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act was passed to criminalize 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 man was booked from Mumbai Central on October 27 after his wife filed a complaint against him and three others, who were his lawyer and two witnesses who signed 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.

The victim said, "On February 10, 2020, my husband through his advocate Qazi S Mehtab A Husaini sent me a notice, asking me to return within seven days. I sent my response through my advocate, and also filed a complaint of dowry harassment against my in-laws. I got another notice in June, but I couldn't respond due to the lockdown."

"I received a notice again in September, along with a divorce deed (Talaqnama) and a demand draft of Rs 10,000. The notice, which contained the last Talaq with signatures of two witnesses, mentioned that I have been divorced and that both my husband and I are free to marry." She then filed a police complaint.

Senior Inspector Jagdev Kalapad from Malvani police station said, "The accused has violated the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, and that the investigation is underway, but no arrest has been made yet."

"Talaq-e- Rajaee does not violate the triple talaq act. Under the Talaq-e-Rajaee, if the woman realizes her mistake and wants to live with her husband again by asking for forgiveness within three months and 10 days of the notice being served, then the husband can withdraw the divorce notice and the couple can get back together," Husaini, the husband's lawyer, said.

"Before giving the Talaq-e-Rajaee notice, my client had sent three more notices to settle the matter and live happily together. I don't know about any FIR registered against me," he added.

Mufti Mohammed Tasbir Azhari said, "Talaq-e-Rajaee can be withdrawn before the completion of three months and 10 days of Iddat [waiting period].

If not, then it will become Bain [valid]." And if the couple wants to still get back together, they will have to marry again. Talaq-e-Rajaee does not violate the triple talaq act in any way."

Maulana Junaid Misbahi, too, was of the same view and added that "during iddat, it is the husband's responsibility to take care of his wife's expenses on food, clothes, etc. It is wrong and illegitimate to write in the divorce paper that both of them are free from marriage until the waiting period is over."

Another advocate, Sadaf Maldar, told mid-day, "Talaq-e-Rajaee does not violate the triple talaq act. Giving three divorces intently together is a violation of the law [triple Talaq act]. Talaq-e-Rajaee is a text of divorce, but there is also scope for reconciliation in which both husband and wife can return to their lives again within the Iddat."

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