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Triple talaq ordinance unconstitutional, against Muslim women: Asaduddin Owaisi

20 September 2018
Triple talaq ordinance unconstitutional, against Muslim women: Asaduddin Owaisi

On August 9, the Union Cabinet had approved three amendments to the "Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill" which has been cleared by Lok Sabha and pending approval of Rajya Sabha. The cabinet approval for enacting the law by an executive order comes almost 10 months after the NDA government first moved a bill in Parliament.

Apart from the triple talaq ordinance, Prasad informed the media about the other decisions taken by the Cabinet on Wednesday.

India's lower house, controlled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), passed legislation outlawing the practice in December.

Shankar blamed Congress for the failure to get rid of the triple talaq "curse" earlier as he said the "barbaric and inhumane" practice was not revoked because of "ambiguity and vacillation of the Congress party for pure vote bank politics".

Mr Prasad also said the magistrate can grant the accused bail, on reasonable grounds, but only after hearing the wife.

However, the Bill did not see the light of day after opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha expressed reservations regarding some provisions of the Bill. Others, like neighbours, can not lodge an FIR to prevent misuse of the proposed law.

The Bill makes instant "triple talaq" a criminal offence and proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife by uttering the word "talaq" thrice in any form of spoken, written or by electronic means such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp.

The wife would also get the right to withdraw the complaint against her husband if the couple reaches a compromise before the magistrate.

The bill allows the victim to approach a magistrate to seek "subsistence allowance" for herself and minor children.

The proposed law also addresses "nikah halala", which requires the divorced woman to marry someone else and consummate the marriage if she wants to remarry her husband.

Prasad read out the state-wise statistics of the number of triple talaq cases reported before and after the 2017 Supreme Court judgment which rendered it illegal and unconstitutional.

Between January 2018 to August. the Parliament sessions were a washout because of which the Bill was not tabled in Parliament. He added that under this law if a Muslim man gives instant triple talaq to his life, he faces a jail term of at least three years. Several Opposition lawmakers argued that it must be sent to a Select Committee for close scrutiny.