Cabinet clears ordinance to make triple talaq an offence

Many Muslim organisations have opposed what it calls government interference in personal laws of the community

The Bill makes instant "triple talaq" a criminal offence and proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife by uttering the word "talaq" thrice in any form of spoken, written or by electronic means such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp.

These amendments were cleared by the Cabinet on August 29. 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.

Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was vote bank politics that had stopped the Congress from supporting the bill.

"It is my serious charge that Sonia Gandhi ji has maintained silence on the issue. She is has nothing to do with politics but gender justice and dignity", he said.

Prasad further alleged that despite being a woman, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi did not support the passage of Triple Talaq Bill.

In a non-bailable offence, bail can not be granted by police at the police station itself.

The accused is entitled to seek bail from a court, not a police officer, but the magistrate would have to hear the wife.

Sources later said the magistrate would ensure that bail is granted only after the husband agrees to grant compensation to the wife as provided in the bill.

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Under the amended law, the FIR can only be lodged by the victim, her blood relations and those who have become her relatives by virtue of her marriage.

Neighbours and others can not lodge a complaint under the proposed law.

The offence of instant triple talaq will be "compoundable".

Triple talaq ordinance a welcome step, I am very happy that Centre has taken such a decision: Ishrat Jahan, petitioner in case. "A compromise can also be reached before a magistrate after the affected woman consents to it", he said.

But it couldn't get the approval of the upper house, where the opposition controls the majority of seats.

These cases were reported between the period of January 2017 to September 13, 2018, he said.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, which prohibits divorce by pronouncing instant talaq, or talaq-e-biddat, was passed in Lok Sabha in December 2017 with most of the leading parties in the opposition, including the Congress, voting in favour of the bill. "We have all the evidence and a series of papers in this regard", he told reporters. Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shaina NC, on the other hand, said "only an insecure man would probably question the intent".

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