Union Cabinet approves ordinance on triple talaq, makes it a punishable offence

Modi govt using Triple Talaq as political football for 'fake credit seeking': Congress

Modi govt using Triple Talaq as political football for 'fake credit seeking': Congress

But since the practice was still prevalent, a bill was brought to make it a penal offence.

Prasad accused the Congress of stalling the Triple Talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha for the sake of its "vote bank politics". All kinds of instant triple talaq - spoken, in writing or by electronic means, such email, text message or WhatsApp - would be illegal and void. "A magistrate can grant bail only after the wife's consent", he added.

The third amendment mandates that the magistrate can decide on releasing the husband on bail only after hearing the wife. "Even today, Modi Govt and Law Minister have indulged in mere vilification and blame game without releasing the proposed ordinance or listing out the solutions or concerns raised by Muslim women on the subsistence for themselves as also the children born out of the marriage", he alleged.

The government's executive order would allow Muslim women or immediate relatives to complain to the police, who could then arrest the husband if required, Prasad said, calling the issue one of gender justice and equality. Now, a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute between a husband and his wife.

Describing the ordinance as anti-women, he said it was also in violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

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The Lok Sabha cleared the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, in December but it has been stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP-led NDA is in minority.

But it couldn't get the approval of the upper house, where the opposition controls the majority of seats. Several Opposition lawmakers argued that it must be sent to a Select Committee for close scrutiny.

The Union Cabinet approved Wednesday an ordinance to ban the practice of instant triple talaq, with Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying there was a "compelling necessity" to bring the measure as instances of "talaq-e-biddat" continued unabated despite the Supreme Court striking it down. But the Congress has so far failed to respond. In a landmark 3-2 verdict, the top court found the practice un-Islamic and "arbitrary", and disagreed that triple talaq was an integral part of religious practice.

India's Muslim Law Board had told the court that while they considered the practice wrong, they opposed any court intervention and asked that the matter be left to the community.

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