Cabinet approves ordinance on Triple Talaq making it a punishable offence

In a significant development in ending the regressive practice of instant triple talaq prevalent among the Muslim community in India, today cabinet approved an ordinance which makes triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat “void and illegal.”

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was presented in the Parliament during the monsoon session, but it could not be passed in Rajya Sabha. It was expected the bill will be passed in the winter session, but the Modi government decided not to wait till next session of parliament and took the ordinance route itself. Now the ordinance will be presented before the president, once president signs the ordinance it will turn into a law.

The bill was formulated following the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court of India in the case of Shayara Bano vs Union of India. A five-judge bench of the court had outlawed triple talaq calling it is a “manifestly arbitrary” practice. As the practice was declared illegal by the apex court of the country, an act became necessary to implement the order and to determine the legal procedure to be followed and punishment to be awarded in case allegations of the banned practise being followed is surfaced.

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The bill was passed without any hiccup in the Lok Sabha during the monsoon session, but it could not pass the hurdle of the upper house of the parliament. There is no political consensus on the bill, as parties like RJD, AIMIM, BJD, IUML and AIADMK are opposed to the bill, who demanded that the bill is sent to select committee, in an apparent delaying tactic.

Muslim woman activists are fighting a long battle to outlaw this regressive practice and today’s ordinance comes as a major victory for woman’s right among the Muslims. The ordinance reflects the NDA government’s commitment towards gender justice in the largest democracy in the world, which will still need to be passed in both houses of the parliament to remain a law.

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