The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance making triple talaq or instant divorce a punishable offence after amended draft bill failed to clear Rajya Sabha in the last session of parliament amid disagreement within parties.
The ordinance would have similar provisions as the Muslim Women Protection of Rights in Marriage Act, popularly known as triple talaq bill, which was cleared by the Lok Sabha in December last year.
As per the law, giving instant triple talaq will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.
The first change allows only a woman, or a close relative, to file a police case against her husband for instant triple talaq, the Islamic practice that allows men to divorce their wives immediately by uttering the word “talaq” (divorce) thrice.
The second amendment allows her to drop the case if the husband comes around later and they arrive at a compromise.
The third gives a magistrate the power to grant bail to the husband after hearing the wife.
It also deals with continuation allowance to a Muslim woman and her children from the estranged man as well as custodial rights of minor children.
It covers instant triple talaq delivered in any form, whether delivered orally, including telephone or a mobile call, or in writing or through electronic medium like WhatsApp or SMS, illegal.
The ordinance comes just weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised Muslim women “that the entire nation is there with them and we will ensure that they get justice.”
The Supreme Court in a verdict in August last year declared instant triple talaq illegal and unconstitutional.
Muslim women had petitioned the court, arguing that practice of husbands divorcing them through “Triple Talaq”, including by Skype and WhatsApp, not only violated their rights but also left many women destitute.
But even after the Supreme Court declared it illegal, some Muslim men continued with the practice of instant talaq. While there were 177 reported cases of triple talaq before the Supreme Court verdict in August last, 70 such cases instances were reported after the order.
(Featured Image: DNA India)