India strikes down practice that lets Muslim men instantly divorce

The country's cabinet has approved an executive order to make the practice a punishable offence.

After the Supreme Court verdict, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government introduced a bill criminalizing the practice and it was approved in December by the lower house of Parliament, where his party commands a majority.

Prasad said that almost 22 countries, including neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned the practice and appealed to the opposition to approve the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill.

Under the proposed ordinance, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.

This practice was struck down by the Supreme Court on August 22, 2017. A woman can drop charges if her husband is open to a compromise.

Mr Prasad said that triple talaq curse was not allowed to be ended by a Parliamentary law because of ambiguity and vacillation of the Congress party for pure vote bank politics.

Cabinet has today approved an ordinance on Triple Talaq, said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The triple talaq bill pushed by the Government had met with a stiff resistance in the Rajya Sabha where it was opposed by several Opposition lawmakers.

Prasad said that 201 cases have been reported across the country even after the top court's order.

March 28, 2016: The Supreme Court asks the Centre to file a copy of the report of a high-level panel on "Women and the law: An assessment of family laws with focus on laws relating to marriage, divorce, custody, inheritance and succession".

Because of the opposition, the government this time round ended up passing the bill with three amendments, namely that the law will be "non-bailable", meaning a magistrate will only be able to grant bail to the accused, not the police, and if the wife gives her consent. The magistrate would also have power to decide the quantum of compensation and subsistence allowance for the victim and her minor children.

"This "triple talaq" ordinance basically is to try and win over a segment in the Muslim community, to win the women's vote among the minorities", said Sandeep Shastri, a political analyst at Jain University in the southern city of Bengaluru.

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.

Between January 2018 to August. the Parliament sessions were a washout because of which the Bill was not tabled in Parliament. Any person who will still continue the practice of triple talaq could be jailed upto 3 years or will be fined heavily.

"There was a constitutional urgency to bring this law".

  • Tracy Klein