Union Ministers hold meeting on ‘triple talaq’

They are asked to frame a law or an amendment bill.

Updated - November 23, 2017 10:30 pm IST

Published - November 23, 2017 10:28 pm IST

Puri: Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture with the message "Triple Talaq A Historic Judgement" at Puri beach of Odisha on Tuesday. PTI Photo   (PTI8_22_2017_000185B)

Puri: Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture with the message "Triple Talaq A Historic Judgement" at Puri beach of Odisha on Tuesday. PTI Photo (PTI8_22_2017_000185B)

A group of Union Ministers including Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday discussed at length a draft law to put an end to instantaneous ‘triple talaq’, a Muslim way of divorce, which is said to be still in practice despite the Supreme Court striking it down.

The Centre is planning to bring the legislation in the winter session, which is likely to begin from December 15.

Chaired by Mr. Singh, the meeting discussed issues related to the proposed bill to ensure that it would be a punishable offence, an official said.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot, Minister for Minorities Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Attorney-General KK Venugopal besides others attended the meeting.

No decision was taken and further deliberations would take place in coming days, the official said.

The Ministers also discussed whether a new legislation should be brought or the existing penal provisions be suitably amended to make it an offence, he said.

According to the law, a victim of ‘talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq, would have no option but to approach the police for redressal of her grievances, as a Muslim clergy would be of no assistance to her.

Even the police were helpless as no action could be taken against the husband in the absence of punitive provisions, another official explained.

The NDA Ministers had been tasked to frame a new law or an amendment bill, he said.

In August, the Supreme Court had struck down the controversial Islamic practice as arbitrary and unconstitutional.

But there had been reports of a number of divorces by that way even after the judgment. This could be because of lack of awareness and absence of deterrent punishment, the official said.

Despite advisories issued to members of the community against the archaic practice, there seems to be no decline in the cases, he said.

Soon after the judgment, the government said a law on triple talaq might not be necessary as the order was now the law of the land. They had felt that the provisions of the Indian Penal Code were sufficient to deal with such cases, the official added.

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