Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala State Minorities Commission received 21 complaints in a day from women, who were victims of triple talaq and fighting for justice and compensation since years, after it launched free legal aid yesterday.
The Kerala Minorities Commission, headed by retired judge P K Haneefa, has formed panels comprising four women advocates each in all 14 districts of the state to give the women appropriate advice and legal assistance, according to PTI.
The divorced women can approach the members of the panel in their respective districts for legal advice and assistance free of cost to fight their cases, Haneefa said.
The commission, constituted for the comprehensive educational advancement, welfare, protection and empowerment of minorities in the state, has published phone numbers (0471-2315122, 2318122) for women to approach the panelists.
"After hearing the plaint, the panel advocates will give advice on whether to move a suit before court or to approach police or other authorities concerned for getting redressal of their complaints," Haneefa told PTI.
Women, living in any part of the state, can contact the panelists through the phone numbers and seek help in this regard, he said.
"Many women from various parts of the state have already come up with complaints of triple talaq," he said.
Officials at the State headquarters of the commission said they received the first request for free legal aid on Wednesday through the helpline. “We got the call from Kollam district and the advocates’ panel will shortly take up the case for legal aid,” the officials said, according to The Hindu.
The number of complaints later increased to 21 by the end of the day. Commission sources said that most of the complainants who have approached the panel belong to the 25-49 age group.
A 63-year-old retired school headmistress, who has been fighting to get compensation from her former husband for the past seven years, is one among those who has approached the commission for justice.
Another woman from Malappuram, who was divorced under the triple talaq practice 22 years ago, wanted some compensation to carry forward her life as she is living at the mercy of her relatives and has no children.
A 40 year-old woman from Erumeli in Kottayam district has been fighting for justice for the past 10 years, sources added.
The practice of triple talaq has been challenged before the Supreme Court which last month decided that a Constitution Bench would hear the petitions from May 11 during the summer vacations saying the matter is of utmost importance.
Several petitions filed by women activists and some NGOs in favour of Triple Talaq victims are demanding from the Supreme Court to put a ban on the practice.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) however remains adamant on its stand and demands from the Apex Court to dissmiss all petitions.
Differences over Triple Talaq were first witnessed during the era of Caliph Umar who for the first time ruled talaq pronounced thrice in one sitting as valid. Before him and during the era of first Caliph Abu Bakr and Prophet Muhamamd (peace be upon him) talaq pronounced thrice in one sitting was termed null and void.
There are clear guidelines in the Qura'n and Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) regarding talaq. It is based on these guidelines that majority of Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Mayalsia and Indonesia have banned practice of concurrent talaq in the respective countries.