Penal law soon on triple talaq

The government plans to bring in legislation in winter session of Parliament.

Updated - November 21, 2017 10:37 pm IST

Published - November 21, 2017 04:27 pm IST - New Delhi

161021 - Oped - Triple talaq

161021 - Oped - Triple talaq

The Union government has set up a ministerial committee to frame a new law that would attract penal provisions in the case of use of triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat for divorce between Muslim couples, and will be bringing the new Bill in the winter session of Parliament.

Top government sources confirmed that the committee will likely include a high-profile list of Ministers – Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and at least two Ministers of State.

Set aside by SC

The Supreme Court had, in August this year, in a majority judgement set aside the practice of talaq-e-biddat, an arbitrary and unilateral decision by a Muslim husband to end the marriage by utterance of the word talaq three times.

A senior government official said that the need for a new law was felt after it was found that divorce by way of talaq-e-biddat was taking place even after the SC judgment.

Also read: What is triple talaq?

This, said officials, could be because of ignorance of the judgment or because there didn’t exist a strong enough deterrent in the law.

“In a recent incident of talaq-e-biddat, it has been reported that a person in a leading educational institution divorced his wife through WhatsApp and short message service and the wife had to approach the police,” said the official.

“As the law stands today, the victims have no option even after approaching the police as there exists no provision in law to take action against the husband,” added the official. The Centre in its affidavit during the case before SC (Shayara Bano vs Union of India and others) had advocated the end of this practice.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been championing the cause of Muslim women, repeatedly speaking out in party and other public forums for equality and justice for Muslim women in this regard. At the BJP’s national executive meet in Bhubhaneswar, just before the SC judgment, he had said, “When we speak of social justice, our Muslim sisters too should get justice. We are not questioning the validity of triple talaq or want to create conflict within a community, but want to highlight the need for justice and end exploitation.”





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