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President Ram Nath Kovind gives his assent to landmark Triple Talaq bill, law to be enforced retrospectively

On Tuesday, the bill was passed in Rajya Sabha with 99 votes in its favour and 84 against, despite the BJP lacking the required numbers in the upper house.

In a historic decision, President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday gave his assent to the landmark Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, that abolishes the practice of instant Triple Talaq.

With Presidential assent, the law will come into force retrospectively from 19th September 2018. A Gazette Notification to this effect was issued yesterday. The Parliament had passed the bill on Tuesday.

The act seeks to declare the practice of instant Triple Talaq as void and illegal and makes it a cognizable offence. It also provides allowance to women victims and their dependent children. The offence is made compoundable with the permission of the Magistrate at the instance of the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced.

The NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi championing the social cause of Muslim women had initiated the process of legislation to ban “Triple Talaq” after the historic Supreme Court judgement had declared the barbaric Islamic practise as unconstitutional.

In December 2018, the Lok Sabha had passed the bill with 245 MPs voting in favour of the Bill, while 11 voted against it. On Tuesday, the bill was passed in Rajya Sabha with 99 votes in its favour and 84 against, despite the BJP lacking the required numbers in the upper house.

After the bill was passed in Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that it was a victory for gender justice. “An archaic and medieval practice has finally been confined to the dustbin of history! Parliament abolishes Triple Talaq and corrects a historical wrong done to Muslim women. This is a victory of gender justice and will further equality in society. India rejoices today!” he tweeted.

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who tabled the bill, said, “This is a historic day. Both the Houses have given justice to Muslim women. This is the beginning of a transforming India.”

The Triple Talaq bill has been facing severe opposition from Muslim fundamentalists, left-wing organisations and even some political parties including the Congress party. Congress party had come up with a bizarre statement during the discussion on the bill. Ghulam Nabi Azad, senior Congress leader had said that the Modi government wanted Triple Talaq to be abolished because they wanted ‘Muslims to keep fighting among themselves’ and go bankrupt while fighting divorce proceedings.

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