Wednesday, 16 January, 2019


Triple talaq or instant divorce now a criminal offence

Cabinet clears ordinance to make triple talaq an offence The Supreme Court last year banned the practice of triple talaq
Bennie Garza | 19 September, 2018, 17:57

In what could be perceived as a big win for the Muslim women across the country, the Cabinet, on Wednesday, gave its nod to an ordinance on triple talaq or instant divorce.

Recently on his Mann Ki Baat program, PM Modi had said: "The Triple Talaq bill was passed in Lok Sabha but could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha".

Prasad said that almost 22 countries, including neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned the practice and appealed to the opposition to approve the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill.

The bill criminalises the practice of instant talaq and could not be taken up for discussion and passage even on the last day of Parliament's Monsoon Session.

In August 2017, India's Supreme Court declared "triple talaq" unconstitutional and ordered the government to legislate against it. It also proposes a three-year jail term for men who violate the law. "It is a pure issue of gender justice, gender dignity and gender equality", said the law minister.

The Hyderabad MP said the Supreme Court, in its verdict on triple talaq, had stated that if a man pronounces triple talaq, the marriage does not get dissolved.

Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was vote bank politics that had stopped the Congress from supporting the bill. "A magistrate can grant bail only after the wife's consent", he added.

Citing details of instant triple talaq cases, the minister said till now 430 incidents of triple talaq have come to the notice of the government through the media.

Further, in order to safeguard the rights of the woman against whom Triple Talaq has been pronounced, she would be entitled to subsistence allowance for herself and her dependent children, at the discretion of the Magistrate.

The proposed law also addresses "nikah halala", which requires the divorced woman to marry someone else and consummate the marriage if she wants to remarry her husband. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in December past year.

Appealing to Congress to pass the bill in Rajya Sabha, Prasad said, "Despite Sonia Gandhi being at the helm of the Congress, the party is not letting the bill pass in Rajya Sabha because of vote bank politics". "Our issue is with the criminalisation aspect". Several Opposition lawmakers argued that it must be sent to a Select Committee for close scrutiny.

Instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat is a practice that was challenged in the court.

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