The Union Cabinet has approved The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance which seeks to criminalize the practice of Triple Talaq, as per news reports.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 was passed in the Lok Sabha in December last year. However, the Bill did not see the light of day after opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha expressed reservations regarding some provisions of the Bill.
The Centre has therefore chosen to take the Ordinance route, introducing a few changes to the 2017 Bill. Under the Ordinance, the offence of Triple Talaq will remain a non-bailable one.
One of the changes introduced is that the police can lodge an FIR only if approached by the victim, her blood relations, or people who become her relatives by virtue of marriage.
Further, the offence has now been made non-compoundable, where a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute.
It has been reported that the provisions will remain. Section 3 of the Bill deems any pronouncement of Talaq by a person upon his wife by any manner whatsoever, void and illegal. Section 4 invites a prison sentence that could go up to three years, as well as a fine.
Further, in order to safeguard the rights of the woman against whom Triple Talaq has been pronounced, she would be entitled to subsistence allowance for herself and her dependent children, at the discretion of the Magistrate. The woman in question would also be entitled to custody of her minor children, as per Section 6.
In August last year, the Supreme Court had held the practice of Triple Talaq to be unconstitutional, by 3:2 majority. The verdict was rendered by a Constitution Bench of then Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, along with Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Uday Umesh Lalit and S Abdul Nazeer.
Read the ordinance below.