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 The bill was passed in May 1986 and was called
 the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights
in Divorce) Act1.
In addition to the religious groups, community organizations, and political
parties, various organizations promote certain issues of importance to the Muslim
community. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is the most
powerful of these. It is an apolitical organization that engages political
leaders and parties in legal issues of importance to the Muslim community.
Established in 1972, the AIMPLB has been a principal proponent for retaining
shari’a as personal law for Muslims in India.17 Muslim personal law,
particularly as it pertains to family law, has been a central issue of debate
in India. Whereas India has a secular civil code for resolving legal disputes
for the country as a whole, the Muslim community has historically been able to
use shari’a in personal and family matters. Both Muslim political parties and
Muslim pressure groups such as the AIMPLB lobby for the preservation of a
separate Muslim personal law based on shari’a for use by Muslims in India. In
recent decades, this situation has created inconsistencies and disputes within
the Muslim community as well as between Muslims and Hindus. Muslim Indian women
often appeal to the government to be treated under the civil code rather than
under Muslim personal family law. In 1986, a highly publicized divorce case,
the Shah Bano case, created a furor across India. After India’s supreme court
awarded Shah Bano, the divorced wife, continued maintenance payments by her
former husband, the AIMPLB and other fundamentalist groups in the Muslim
community pressured the government to reverse the ruling. The AIMPLB argued
that the supreme court had no right to attempt to interpret the Quran. Rajiv
Gandhi’s government finally succumbed to the pressure and passed the Muslim
Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act of 1986, which restored the shari’a
ruling and ultimately rescinded Shah Bano’s right to maintenance payments.18 On
the issue of triple talaq (a man’s declaring three times consecutively that he
wishes to divorce his wife), there has been debate within the Islamic
community, with the AIMPLB supporting fundamentalist interpretations of law.
The Bombay High Court ruled that the wife must be present for a man to divorce
her, rather than his being able to complete a divorce ____________ 16 Hasan
(2002), p. 382. 17 Zafarul-Islam Khan, “Indian Muslim Apex Body Gets New
Chief,” The Milli Gazette, June 23, 2002. 18 Hasan (1997), p. 263. This content
downloaded from on Thu, 25 Jan 2018 17:02:15 UTC All use subject
to Islam in India 305 by saying talaq “I divorce
you”—three times in her absence. The stance of the AIMPLB was that a wife does
not need to be present for talaq, or divorce, to occur2.


The University of Chicago Press, Spring.1989, p.559.

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Rollie Lal,    “Islam in India” Book
Title: the book title.  The Muslim World
After 9/11 Chapter.6, Published by: RAND Corporation. (2004), p.304


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