Proposed Law To End Instant “Triple Talaq” In Parliament Today

PROBE NEWS: A bill is expected to be introduced in Lok Sabha that proposes a three-year jail term and a possible fine for any Muslim man who divorces his wife through instant “Triple Talaq”. The first step to make instant “Triple Talaq” the Islamic practice that allows men to divorce their wives immediately by stating “talaq” (divorce) thrice a criminal offence will be taken in parliament today. A bill will be introduced in Lok Sabha that proposes a three-year jail term and a possible fine for any Muslim man who indulges in the practice. The law will also apply to instant “Triple Talaq” in any form as in writing or by electronic means, such as e-mail, text message and WhatsApp. The government’s move comes after the Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling in August, said “Triple Talaq” also called “Talaq-e-Biddat” was unconstitutional and violated the fundamental rights of women.
10 things to know about the Bill:
1. It is an important legislation which seeks to criminalise the practice of instant triple talaq, which enables Muslim men to divorce their wives instantly by saying ‘talaq’ three times in a row. There are many cases in which a talaq was given on phone or even via SMS, much to the agony of the Muslim women.
2. The bill proposes to make the triple talaq practice a punishable offence and describes it against “constitutional morality” and “gender equity”. Anyone who pronounces instant divorce “shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and a fine”, the bill proposes.
3. The Bill, prepared by an inter-ministerial group headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, makes instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat in any form – spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp – “illegal and void” and provides for a jail term of three years for the husband. It was cleared by the Union Cabinet earlier this month.
4. As per the provisions of the Bill, the husband could also be fined and the quantum of fine would be decided by the magistrate hearing the case.
5. The Bill is being introduced as the practice still continued despite the Supreme Court striking down ‘talaq-e- iddat’.
6. The proposed law would only be applicable to instant triple talaq and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children. The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue.
7. The Supreme Court had termed the practice of instant triple talaq unconstitutional while considering a petition to that effect. The then CJI J S Khehar had directed the government to bring in a legislation in this regard. The Supreme Court judgement found wide support among the citizens, especially Muslim women who welcomed the criminalisation of the practice which made them suffer in family matters.
8. Not everyone is happy with the criminalisation of instant triple talaq. Clerics and several Muslim organisations, cutting across sects and schools of jurisprudence, have opposed the Bill, terming the government’s stand as “uncalled for interference” in the personal laws of the community.
9. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) opposed the legislation as it said that the legislation is against the Sharia law and may destroy families if made into a law. The AIMPLB has also alleged that due procedure was not followed while drafting the Bill and all stakeholders were not consulted in an effective manner.
10. Congress leader Salman Khurshid also hinted that he is opposed to the Bill and hoped that the Congress party did not support it when it came in Parliament. Another Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who represented the AIMPLB in court, had alleged that the central government is trying to diminish Islamic influence in the society.

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