Owaisi Demands Monthly Allowance Of Rs 15,000 For Triple Talaq Victims, Examining The Numbers & Feasibility Of The Demand

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The triple talaq bill which will be discussed in the current budget session has been opposed by many including those who claim to be champions of women empowerment. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi who has been a staunch opponent of the triple talaq bill added a new demand to his existing ones.

Owaisi wants the Government to set aside funds in 2018 budget so that Rs 15,000 per month can be given to the triple talaq victim as compensation. He wants the Government to pay the allowance until litigation process was completed. Addressing a rally, Owaisi said that the current bill was impractical as there was no monetary compensation for the victim.

The statistics show that for every divorced Muslim man there are four divorced Muslim women that are divorced. As reported by the Business Standard, the number of Muslim women that are divorced has increased by 40% in 2011 from that in 2001. In 2011, almost half a million Muslim women were divorced. During the same tenure, there was also a 70% increase in divorced Muslim men.

The census data reveals some dangerous trend of divorce among Muslim population. The number of divorced Muslim women in the age of 10 to 25 years is 70,000 which grows to 0.22 million for the age group of 25-39 years. Data shows that about half a million Muslim women are divorced by the time they reach 60 years of age.

So, with a 40 percent increase, the final number is half a million. So the numbers of divorce cases in the last 10 years were roughly 1, 50,000. So, assuming that each year the number of divorce cases were equal, the number of divorced Muslim women each year comes to 15,000.

When the triple talaq bill is introduced and it becomes law, the above number will grow since all cases will be registered. However, assuming that the number of cases grows by the same percentage as from the previous census, the amount Government of India will pay as compensation is humongous.

Since no concrete data on the number of triple talaq was available, we have calculated the number of divorce cases from the above census. Additionally, we have made an assumption that all court cases will be completed within six months. While in reality, the time required for the court case to be completed will vary on the wide variety of factors including the fact whether the divorce is mutual or not. Considering that the divorce is mutual and all things go smoothly, the least amount of time required to get a divorce would be six months.

The UBR View: It must be clarified that there are no clear figures for the number of women getting a divorce through triple talaq is available. The purpose of this article was not to give any false figures, but just to highlight the fact that if compensation of Rs 15,000 is announced by the Government of India, there is a possibility that more divorces would be done via triple talaq to avail the benefits. Even if that is not the case, the burden on exchequer will be quite huge.

We think that there may be a need to support the women financially for a brief period. However, to prevent misuse of the financial aid, the punishment for men divorcing via triple talaq should be stringent. It should be made a criminal and non-bailable offence to eradicate the practice completely as suggested at present. One can only imagine the number of false cases if the offence was to be made bailable.

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