Instant Triple Talaq - a criminal offence, as President clears Ordinance

September 20, 2018

In a historic event, the Union Cabinet has approved and cleared an Ordinance to criminalise Triple Talaq - the infamous Muslim practice of instant or immediate divorce. President Ram Nath Kovind signed the Ordinance banning the instant talaq late night on Wednesday, 19th September.

The Ordinance contains the provisions of the bill which is stuck in Parliament and could not be passed in the recent monsoon session. With the Ordinance, this Talaq-e-Biddat has been declared as void and illegal. Now, any Muslim man convicted for it could attract a jail term of three years and also a fine.

According to the Union Law Minister, there was a compelling necessity and urgency to bring the Ordinance as this controversial practice was still being used against women of the minority community, despite it having been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of India in a historic judgment passed last August. He stated that there have been 430 triple talaq cases that have been reported between January and September 2017.

According to the Ordinance, the offence of Triple Talaq would be a cognisable offence which allows the police to make an arrest without a warrant, however, only when the complaint is made by the ‘victim wife’, or her ‘blood relatives’, or her ‘relations through marriage'. The offence would be a compoundable offence which means that a compromise can be reached at the instance of the wife. The third core provision is that it would be a non-bailable offence, but a magistrate can grant bail only after hearing the wife.

An Ordinance (Article 123 of the Constitution) allows a Government to bring a law on matters of urgency when the Parliament is not in session. It, however, has to be presented before and passed by the Parliament within 6 weeks of a forthcoming session. The Ordinance on Triple Talaq would have to face the Parliament test during the upcoming winter session.


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