Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Instant triple talaq will be criminal offence, cabinet passes ordinance

Instant triple talaq will be criminal offence, cabinet passes ordinance

"We not only welcomed the SC judgment quashing triple talaq as a victory for the rights of Muslim women, but it was INC leaders, who represented the women petitioners before the SC", he said.

He also said there was an overpowering urgency for the ordinance, adding that 22 Muslim countries have regulated Triple Talaq. "She is has nothing to do with politics but gender justice and dignity", he said.

"I will again appeal to (Congress leader) Sonia ji that this ordinance has been brought in the interest of the country to bring gender justice".

The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or "talaq-e-biddat" and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking "subsistence allowance" for herself and minor children. "Thirdly, a bail can be granted by the magistrate upon reasonable grounds but only after hearing the victim wife also", said Prasad.

After the Cabinet passed the ordinance, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the government of politicising the matter.

The step was taken after the government failed to pass the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, in the Rajya Sabha during the recent monsoon session. The opposition contended there were gaps in the proposed law that left it open to misuse.

Sources later said the magistrate would ensure that bail is granted only after the husband agrees to grant compensation to the wife as provided in the bill.

The Supreme Court outlawed the practice last year, but Modi's government wants to make it a non-bailable offence carrying a jail term of up to three years, following protests by Muslim women.

However, the amended triple talaq bill provides for additional safeguards, including a provision for bail to an accused before the start of the trial. The cabinet approval for enacting the law by an executive order comes almost 10 months after the NDA government first moved a bill in Parliament. This was one of the demands made by the Opposition.

Responding to a question by ANI on Congress stonewalling the Triple Talaq Bill in courts and in the Parliament, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, at an event in London, had said "We have an issue with the criminalisation (part of the Bill) but we have not stonewalled anything".

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