Union Cabinet Approves Women Bill, Makes Instant Triple Talaq Criminal offence
After declaring Supreme Court Instant Triple Talaq an unconstitutional in its landmark judgment in August this year. The Narendra Modi Cabinet led by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday approved a controversial bill. It was named Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill making triple talaq a non-bailable and criminal offence.
The other members also included in Cabinet Meeting are External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and his junior in the ministry P P Chaudhary.
The government is hoping to get its Parliament clearance during the winter session. It has begun from today in Nagpur. The bill gives the right to Muslim women to seek maintenance in case of triple talaq. The Government had earlier constituted a committee to draft a suitable legislation which would make Instant Triple Talaq a criminal offence.
Terming the 1400-year-old practice of triple talaq among Muslims as “arbitrary”, the Supreme Court had said that it violates the fundamental rights of equality. Uttering instant Triple Talaq on Skype, Whatsapp or social media site violates woman’s fundamental right, leaves them destitute.
“It is clear that this form of talaq is manifestly arbitrary in the sense that the marital tie can be broken capriciously and whimsically by a Muslim man without any attempt at reconciliation so as to save it,” the Supreme Court had said in its 93-page verdict.
Pronouncing its judgment in Shayara Bano versus Union of India on August 22 this year, the apex court in a majority judgment set aside the practice of Talaq-e-biddat — as the triple talaq is called in Islamic jurisprudence.
If a person gives an Instant triple Talaq to his wife, will attract jail terms of three years
The judgment was widely appreciated by several women groups and sections of the Muslim society, though a few clerics also called it as against the Sharia and an unnecessary meddling by the courts in the Muslim Personal Law.
Recently, a few cases where the Muslim husbands divorced their wives unilaterally through social media or phone came to light such as that of an Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) professor who divorced his wife through WhatsApp and SMS.
The West Bengal subcommittee of the Muslim Personal Law Board held a meeting in Kolkata on December 14, and said that the proposed bill has been drafted without consulting any Islamic clerics or scholars and amounts to an interference in the personal law of the community. The members have urged the government to initiate consultations saying it would otherwise be a “handicapped” bill that would create discord.
Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and the Trinamool Congress, who always use Muslim voters, have argued against a ban, and said reform should be encouraged from within the community and not imposed on it. However, later they have endorsed the Supreme Court verdict.
According to a new law, if a person gives an Instant triple Talaq to his wife, he will attract jail term of three years in Jail.
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