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Union Cabinet clears ordinance on instant Tripe-Talaq

Union Cabinet clears ordinance on instant Tripe-Talaq

India's cabinet approved a decree making the procedure a punishable offense, as the government had struggled to pass the law in the face of opposition in parliament, even though the practice persists, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Subsequently, the government approved three amendments to the "Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill" in August.

"The instance of triple talaq has continued unabated", Prasad told a news briefing, adding that the government had recorded 201 such divorces after the Supreme Court struck down the law.

"It is my serious charge that Sonia Gandhi ji has maintained silence on the issue", he said, while urging the Congress leader as also the BSP supremo Mayawati and TMC chief Mayawati to support the bill in the next session of Parliament for the sake of "gender justice, gender equality and gender dignity".

"A compromise can be achieved only when the woman is willing and says so to a magistrate".

The practice of instant divorce, called "triple talaq", happens in person, over the phone, by text and in email.




Although the practice was ruled unconstitutional by India's Supreme Court previous year, Federal Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that this had done little to deter many men. The Centre had earlier drafted the law, making instant talaq or triple talaq an offence which was passed in the Lok Sabha but couldn't sail through Rajya Sabha after the opposition protested against it.

"The Quranic injunctions about accountability, time period, procedure, arbitration notwithstanding triple talaq takes place all around us".

The offence of instant triple talaq will be "compoundable".

Prasad said the issue pertained to respect for women and not to religion or path of worship.

Several women activists also criticised the decision, saying this "politicised move" was taken without considering the complications it could pose to Muslim women. The wife will be given custody of the child and is entitled to maintenance, decided by the magistrate, for herself and her children. Also, a complaint can be filed only by the affected wife or her blood relatives or those related by marriage rather than any member of the public or an authority. In a landmark 3-2 verdict, the top court found the practice un-Islamic and "arbitrary", and disagreed that triple talaq was an integral part of religious practice. She said that because the measure targets the Muslim community, it plays into the country's Islamophobic rhetoric - "they use it as political propaganda that 'We have saved our Muslim sisters.' " The order also puts women "in greater danger", she says, because their husbands will be jailed, leaving them without compensation.

He demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should bring a law to protect Hindu women deserted by their husbands.

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