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SC dismisses petition challenging re-promulgation of triple talaq ordinance; CJI says 'can't do much' after bill lapsed in RS

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a petition challenging the triple talaq ordinance, which was passed by the Centre in February. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi dismissed the petition filed by lawyer Reepak Kansal.

The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, dismissed the petition against the re-promulgation of the ordinance and said that it stood "withdrawn". In February, the controversial triple talaq bill had lapsed during the Budget Session of the Rajya Sabha. The bill had been passed by the Lok Sabha, but lapsed after the Upper House adjourned sine die without having passed the bill.

 SC dismisses petition challenging re-promulgation of triple talaq ordinance; CJI says cant do much after bill lapsed in RS

File image of the Supreme Court of India. AP

The issue of triple talaq was taken up in the Parliament in August last year after a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled "unconstitutional" the practice that allowed Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by uttering "talaq" three times in quick succession. In a landmark 3-2 verdict, the Supreme Court found the practice un-Islamic and "arbitrary" and disagreed that triple talaq was an integral part of religious practice.

On Monday, Gogoi was quoted by reports as saying, "Can't do much if a bill isn't passed in the Rajya Sabha and if the House is dissolved."

The triple talaq Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on December 27 last year with 245 votes in favour and 11 against it. The Opposition parties were demanding that the Bill be sent to a Select Committee of Parliament for further vetting, a demand which was rejected by the Centre. However, an ordinance was re-promulgated in January this year after the revised bill could not be passed in Rajya Sabha where the government lacks majority.

On 20 February, The Union Cabinet approved triple talaq ordinance. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said: "The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to the promulgation of an Ordinance, namely, the Muslim Women (Protection of Right on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019, as per Appendix-111 under the clause (1) of Article 123 of the Constitution."

Soon after, President Ram Nath Kovind signed the ordinance, which brought it into force for the third time in less than a year. The ordinance makes triple talaq a non-bailable offence. However, an accused can approach a magistrate to seek bail even before trial.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday called the triple talaq ordinance a ‘weapon against minorities’, being used to cover up ‘a narrative of women’s empowerment’.

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Updated Date: Mar 11, 2019 12:55:17 IST