Cabinet clears triple talaq bill

Cabinet clears triple talaq bill

The Cabinet on Friday cleared the triple talaq law under which instant triple talaq would be illegal and void and a violation would attract a jail term of three years.

Titled the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, the draft law says instant triple talaq in any form - spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp - would be deemed illegal.

It has also been proposed that the practice be made a non-bailable offence.

With the Cabinet's approval, the path is now clear for the bill to be introduced in Parliament as early as next week.

The proposed law would only be applicable to instant triple talaq or 'talaq-e-biddat' and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking "subsistence allowance" for her and her minor children.

The Supreme Court had said in a landmark ruling on August 22 that the practice of Muslim men uttering "talaq" three times for an instant divorce is unconstitutional.

The split verdict said 'talaq-e-biddat' was violative of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution. It was hailed as "historic" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders.

The draft law was prepared by an inter-ministerial group headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

The other members are External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and MoS for Law P P Chaudhary.

The government said a separate law was necessary as there were many reports of instant triple talaq even after the Supreme Court's verdict.

The draft law was sent to the states on December 1, asking them to reply by December 10.

The BJP-ruled states, including Jharkhand, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, have backed the proposals.

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