Cabinet okays bill making instant triple talaq a crime

The Union cabinet approved the proposal to introduce the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, to make ‘Talaq-e-Biddat’ or instant triple talaq illegal and a punishable offence. Pronouncing this form of divorce may even land the husband in jail for up to three years and a fine. It would be a non-bailable, cognisable offence. With the approval, the ruling dispensation has made way for introduction of the bill in Parliament.

The government is hopeful that the bill will be passed in the winter session itself though it expects some rough weather during its passage. However, since this is not a constitutional bill, it will require the backing of a simple majority, hence even if the opposition parties decide not to support it, the ruling dispensation is confident of seeing the bill through to make it a law.

After the cabinet meeting, Union minister for law Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “The bill is designed to provide a human shield for Muslim women.” However, he refused to share details as Parliament is in session. “As of now, the draft law is prospective in nature. But if Parliament feels, it can be implemented retrospectively once it is passed and gets the President’s nod,” Prasad said.

The husband could also be fined and the quantum of fine would be decided by the magistrate hearing the case.

The government has justified the urgent need to bring the bill as the practice still continues despite the Supreme Court striking down instant triple talaq.

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