The Union Cabinet is likely to pass a fresh proposal to ban the practice of instant triple talaq on Wednesday, PTI reported. Once approved by the Cabinet, the bill will have to be passed by the Parliament and will replace an ordinance issued earlier this year.
With the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha in May, the contentious bill had lapsed as it was pending in the Rajya Sabha. Therefore, if cleared by the Cabinet on Wednesday, the new bill is likely to be introduced in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha beginning 17 June.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which made the practice of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) a penal offence, was opposed by Opposition parties which claimed that jail term for the husband for divorcing his wife was legally untenable. The earlier BJP government had promulgated the ordinance on triple talaq twice.
The first ordinance was brought in after the Monsoon Session of the Parliament in 2018, a second ordinance was issued after the Winter Session, and the third was announced by the last cabinet on 19 February, just weeks ahead of the general elections.
According to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019, divorcing through instant triple talaq will be illegal, void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband. Seeking to allay fears that the proposed law could be misused, the government had included certain safeguards in it such as adding a provision for bail for the accused during trial.
While the ordinance makes it a "non-bailable" offence, an accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail. In a non-bailable offence, bail cannot be granted by the police at the police station itself, a provision was added to allow the magistrate to grant bail "after hearing the wife". These amendments were cleared by the Cabinet on 29 August, 2018.
Since the Narendra Modi government returned to power in the recently held General Election, it has decided to give a fresh push to the proposed law in the newly-constituted Parliament. Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad on 3 June had emphasised the government’s will to bring in the bill again saying that the issue of triple talaq “was part of our (BJP's) manifesto”.
However, these ordinances will have to be converted into laws within 45 days of the beginning of the session before they lapse.
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Updated Date: Jun 12, 2019 12:56:00 IST