'Why is divorce criminal for Muslims?': Kerala CM defends triple talaq
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan criticised the Central government for criminalising triple talaq and asked why it is considered a criminal offence for Muslims alone when divorce all other religions are seen as civil cases.
“People from different religious backgrounds might have come here for the conference. Can we use a different mode of punishment for each person? For a person following a certain religion, there's one law and for another, there is another law. Isn't this what we are seeing in the case of the triple talaq?” he asked.
“The triple talaq was criminalised. Divorce happens in all religions. All others are seen as civil cases. Why is it a criminal offence for Muslims alone? So, in the case of a divorce, if it's a Muslim, then he can be jailed. We are all Indians. Can we say that we got our citizenship because we were born in a particular religion? Has religion ever been the basis for citizenship?” he added.
In 2017, the Supreme Court declared the practice of triple talaq—where Muslim husbands can instantaneously and irrevocably divorce their wives by uttering the words ‘talaq talaq talaq’— as unconstitutional.
The next year, the President of India passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance 2018, which made triple talaq void and illegal. It is a non-bailable and cognisable offence punishable with a fine and up to 3 years imprisonment.
The Kerala CM also alleged that the Centre is using religion to decide citizenship through the Citizenship Amendment Act and asserted that it won't be implemented in the state at any cost.