India: Muslim men will now have to prove their divorce in a court of law
In a landmark judgment last week, the Bombay High Court ruled that divorces between Muslim couples will now have to be "convincingly proved in a court of law under the civil procedure court and the Indian Evidence Act."
Secular India failed Shah Bano 17 years ago. An elderly Muslim woman reduced to penury after being divorced whimsically by her husband. The Supreme Court had granted her maintenance and infuriated the clergy who saw it as an interference in Islamic laws. The Congress regime had capitulated under pressure, ignored liberal Muslim opinion, and introduced a law that negated the Supreme Court's decision. Since then, like before, the fate of Muslim women divorcees in India has largely been left to the mercy of their husbands. Reckless men have often severed conjugal obligations by arbitrarily uttering talaq thrice, in unexceptional cases divorcing even through post, e-mail or fax.
Submitted on Thu, 05/16/2002 - 00:00