The Union Cabinet today approved an ordinance which will make instant Triple Talaq a punishable offence in the country. The Union Cabinet has approved the ordinance on Wednesday after the central government had failed to pass it in the Parliament. The government has taken this route to provide similar provisions to the Muslim women as were guaranteed under The Muslim Women Protection of Rights in Marriage Act, which was cleared by the Lok Sabha in 2017. The Bill had faced a tough resistance in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP led central government does not enjoy the majority. Leaders from the opposition parties had argued for the Bill to be sent to select committee for a closer scrutiny. The various state governments had however supported the centre’s stand on the issue at hand when the centre had sought their opinions. This is the second ordinance moved by the central government on the instant triple talaq issue which has come after taking into consideration the objections raised by the opposition against the Bill.
The Bill which is scheduled to be ratified later on in the winter session of the Parliament in 2018 makes instant triple talaq delivered in any form a criminal offence. The Bill has the provision of awarding a three year jail term for the Muslim husband who divorces his wife by uttering the word ‘talaq’ three times in a row. The Bill makes ‘talaq-e-biddat’ void and illegal and it has provisions for imprisonment and fine for anyone invoking its clauses. The much needed addition of subsistence allowance to the Muslim woman and their children along with the provision for custodial rights of minor children is also guaranteed by the Bill. It is noteworthy that the Instant triple talaq practice had been declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Honourable Supreme Court of India in August 2017. Various Muslim women from around the country and the organisations which seek to help protect the rights of Muslim women in India had approached the apex court against the practice. They had contested that the practice of instant triple talaq violated the rights of the Muslim women and continues to affect the lives of many women leaving them destitute and helpless.
The government’s move to end this outdated practice which affects a large number of women from the Muslim community had been highly appreciated by the women from the folds of Islam. The threat of a sudden, oral and out of court divorce which could arise out of the blue to dent their lives forever was too much for the almost 90 million Muslim women of India. The law which is unequal in nature clearly gave extra and unfair rights to the men of the Muslim community and therefore made the women live their lives in fear. The Muslim man under this practice need not quote any specific cause at all for divorcing his wife and the wife had no say in the matter at all, her presence too was not needed at all during the time of the pronouncement of the three words which had such a huge impact on her life. This is exactly why the Muslim women had welcomed the central governments push to bring down this archaic law which was lopsided in the men’s favour. The Muslim women have once again welcomed the government’s move to bring about an ordinance in the Parliament for passing the triple talaq Bill. One of the prominent petitioners in the triple talaq case, Shaista Ambar thanked the central government for doing the needful in this case.