India bans instant divorce by Muslim men

Saul Bowman
September 20, 2018

"We tried to reach out to Congress Party five-six times to develop consensus for passage of triple talaq but they did not cooperate on this sensitive matter of women empowerment", the minister said, attacking the UPAchairperson Sonia Gandhi for not cooperating with the government to end the "barbaric practice".

Prasad laid down the amendments made in the ordinance, in accordance with the Opposition's objections in the Parliament - raised when the first ordinance was introduced.

The Law Minister used the opportunity to attack the Congress, saying it is not supporting the bill pending in Rajya Sabha under "vote bank pressures". Under the proposed ordinance, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.

The government has said the measure was necessary as the practice of talaq-e-biddat was continuing unabated despite the Supreme Court previous year striking it down.

April 11, 2017: The Centre tells the Supreme Court the practices in question deny Muslim women the fundamental rights which were guaranteed to them by the Indian constitution.

"The curse of triple talaq continues unabated", Prasad remarked.

"So there was compelling necessity to come up with an ordinance", Prasad said.

Describing the practice as "barbaric and inhuman", he said almost 22 countries have regulated triple talaq.

The ordinance has similar provisions as The Muslim Women Protection of Rights in Marriage Act that the Lok Sabha cleared in December.

Criticising the triple talaq ordinance, Hyderabad MP said that there are nearly 22 lakh women who are living without there husband. "It is purely an issue of gender justice, gender dignity and gender equality", he said.

"The core component of this ordinance is that an offence will be cognisable only when the FIR is filed by the victim wife or her close relations by blood or marriage", said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

He said that the Congress has also believed that triple talaq is about "gender justice" and "gender equity" and anything prejudicial to Muslim women is inherently unsustainable.

Between January 2018 to August. the Parliament sessions were a washout because of which the Bill was not tabled in Parliament. The bail application must be heard by a magistrate and will be decided based on the statement of the aggrieved woman. The woman will get the custody of the minor child, if any, and she will be entitled to a maintenance determined by the magistrate for herself and the child. The Congress-led Opposition had demanded that the Bill should be sent to the Select Committee for further scrutiny.

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