Former cabinet minister Arif Mohammad Khan on Wednesday took a dig at the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and alleged that the Muslim body took a U-turn on the issue of Triple Talaq.
Khan made the statement after, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi earlier today said, he hopes that AIMPLB challenges the Triple Talaq Bill in the Supreme Court.
The former Union Minister told ANI, AIMPLB first dubbed practice of triple talaq as "sinful, oppressive and unjust", however, they later in a press conference in Bhopal changed their stance.
"We are a democracy. Everybody is entitled to have an opinion. You have every right to challenge the constitutional validity of an enactment passed by Parliament. I can't question what he is saying. But I find it very difficult to understand that Muslim Personal Law board which through an additional affidavit promised to the Supreme Court that they will start a campaign against triple talaq which they said is prohibited, sinful, oppressive and unjust. They admitted everything," Khan told ANI a day after the Rajya Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage), Bill, 2019.
"They said that we will call for social boycott if someone resorts to it. But 10 days later, they changed their stance at a conference in Bhopal and said this practice will continue notwithstanding with the judgment which are being given by the courts. How do they go now to the Supreme Court, how will they reconcile what they had said in affidavit and now when they are coming again and challenging the constitutional validity. I would like to watch what they say there. I welcome this. They should go to the court," he added.
Khan, who was a minster in the Rajiv Gandhi government but left the Congress in 1986 over Muslim Personal Law Bill and triple talaq legislation, said if Owaisi wants equality then he should ask the government to implement common civil code.
"Owaisi said Hindu men will be jailed for one year and Muslim men will be jailed for three year. If he is so keen on equality, why does he not ask the government to apply the family laws equally to every citizen of India and let us have a common civil code," he said.
Khan said that divorce is a civil matter and triple divorce is a "criminal act".
"Nobody can stop anyone from seeking a divorce. But the Supreme Court said that the triple talaq is arbitrary where you make three pronouncements and the woman is thrown of her marital home. This is not a civil act. Divorce is a civil matter and a triple divorce is a criminal act," he said.
"For criminal act, you will not find any single instance in the Muslim jurisprudence where an action which is held to be 'haram' is not punishable. Even Personal Law Board says it is haram. Even if you go by their viewpoint if it is 'haram' then it has to be punishable," Khan said.
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