New legislature on Triple Talaq: Modi govt mulls introduction of fresh bill in upcoming Winter Session

The government is planning to introduce a new bill outlawing the practice of Triple Talaq in Islam in Parliament's Winter Session, media reports said.

The government's move comes after Supreme Court's landmark judgment in August this year on the controversial Islamic divorce process, terming the practice "void", "illegal" and "unconstitutional". The apex court had directed the government to draft and frame a law outlawing the practice, where Muslim men could give unilateral divorce to women, merely by pronouncing the word 'talaq' thrice.

 New legislature on Triple Talaq: Modi govt mulls introduction of fresh bill in upcoming Winter Session

The Winter Session of Parliament has been delayed due to Asembly election in Gujarat. PTI file image

The top court also expressed hope that the Union government would consider the Muslim bodies and Sharia law while considering the changes in the legislation.

The government, CNN-News18 reported, has formed a ministerial panel to invite suggestions and frame a draft bill ahead of the Winter Session.

Government functionaries, who did not wish to be named, said that the Centre was considering to bring a suitable legislation or amend existing penal provisions, which would make instantaneous triple talaq an offence.

As the law stands today, a victim of 'talaq-e-biddat' would have no option but to approach the police for redressal of her grievance as a Muslim clergy would be of no assistance to her.

Even police are helpless as no action can be taken against the husband in the absence of punitive provisions in the law, they explained.

Even though most parties across the political spectrum hailed Supreme Court's August judgment, the debate on a bill is likely to open a can of worms as All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has remained staunchly against legal or legislative intervention in the Muslim's personal law.

AIMPLB had said that it was unconstitutional for the judiciary to interfere in the relgious practices of Muslims. The board also said that there cannot be any uniform civil code in a diverse nation like India.

After the verdict, even though the Muslim body agreed to respect the Supreme Court's verdict, it said it considers the Centre's submission in the apex court about all other forms of their marriages as an "attack on the personal law".

The Supreme Court had, however, stepped in on the grounds that the practice was rather a gender issue. On 12 May 2017, the Supreme Court said the practice of triple talaq was the "worst" form of dissolution of marriages among Muslims, despite there being schools of thought which termed it as "legal".

Meanwhile, the reports of the bill on triple talaq comes at a time when the Congress party has been accusing the government of "avoiding" the Winter Session of Parliament in view of the Gujarat assembly elections. The main Opposition party in the Upper House said that the government was postponing the session to evade facing tough questions on issues like scams of ministers, Rafale deal, GST and note ban just before the elections.

The opposition party alleged the Modi government is working under its model of "bypass, bulldoze and betray", which is an "attack on democracy". Congress president Sonia Gandhi had also accused Modi of sabotaging the Winter Session on flimsy grounds by "locking the temple of democracy".

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 21, 2017 16:29:58 IST