Cabinet clears ordinance to make triple talaq an offence

Cabinet clears ordinance to make triple talaq an offence

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday signed off on an ordinance to make instant triple talaq an offence. While it has already passed in the lower house, it is still pending in the upper house, where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party or BJP) does not have a majority.

To make the proposed law palatable to the opposition, the government last month brought three amendments to The Muslim Women Protection of Rights in Marriage Act.

Now with the President Kovind giving his assent on making triple talaq an offence, the practice of giving instant divorce or uttering the word "talaq" 3 times would land a person in a jail.

He said 201 cases had been reported from across the country after the Supreme Court banned triple talaq in August 2017. "She is has nothing to do with politics but gender justice and dignity", he said.

The wife would also get the right to withdraw the complaint against her husband if the couple reaches a compromise before the magistrate.

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.

The board's members asked that the subject of triple talaq be left to the Muslim community. "Congress didn't support us just for the sake of its vote bank politics", Prasad said, addressing a press conference.

"There was an overpowering urgency and a compelling necessity to bring the ordinance as the practice continued unabated despite the SC order a year ago", Prasad told a press conference. "Modi government not making this an issue for justice for Muslim women, but making this into a political issue", said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

The parties wanted the government to include in the legislation provisions for financial aid to Muslim women and suggested government aid also. The woman will be entitled to maintenance.

While instant triple talaq will continue to be a "non-bailable" offence - the police cannot grant bail at the police station - the accused can approach a magistrate for bail even before trial.

February 5, 2016: The Supreme Court seeks assistance from the then Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of "triple talaq", "nikah halala" and "polygamy", stating that the intention was to assess if Muslim women face gender discrimination in cases of divorce.

Between January 2018 to August. the Parliament sessions were a washout because of which the Bill was not tabled in Parliament.

Another safeguard that had been added is that the police can lodge an FIR (first information report) only if the complaint is filed by the wife (victim), her blood relations or her relatives by virtue of her marriage.