Triple Talaq a punishable offence now as govt takes ordinance route

Ravi Shankar Prasad briefs reporters on the ordinance

"She is silent.it has nothing to do with politics but gender justice and dignity", he said.

Prasad accused the Congress of stalling the Triple Talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha for the sake of its "vote bank politics".

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 had been cleared by the Lok Sabha in December a year ago but it had been stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the NDA does not have a majority.

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.

"This "triple talaq" ordinance basically is to try and win over a segment in the Muslim community, to win the women's vote among the minorities", said Sandeep Shastri, a political analyst at Jain University in the southern city of Bengaluru.

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While the proposed law makes it a "non-bailable" offence, an accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail. The opposition contended there were gaps in the proposed law that left it open to misuse. "Recently, in his fifth Independence Day speech, PM Modi said he was striving to end instant triple talaq but underlined there were some people who do not want the practice to go away". "Thirdly, bail can be granted by the magistrate upon reasonable grounds but only after hearing the victim wife also".

He added: "As for other provisions are concerned, the mother/victim wife must get the custody of the minor child and the mother is entitled to a maintenance suitably determined by the magistrate for herself and the child". The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in December previous year. The Congress-led Opposition, however, had demanded that the Bill should be sent to the Select Committee for further scrutiny.

This ordinance was introduced as the Muslim Woman (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, popularly known as the Triple Talaq Bill is now stuck on the floor of the Parliament. "Our issue is with the criminalisation aspect".

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. 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.

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