- Uttar Pradesh has become the first State to endorse the Central government’s draft bill that makes instant triple talaq a cognisable and non-bailable offence.
- The draft law, which provides for three-year imprisonment and a fine to a man trying to divorce his wife by uttering “talaq” three times, got the State government’s approval at a Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister.
- “The Centre’s draft Bill on triple talaq has been endorsed by the Cabinet. The Centre had asked the States to send their respective views on it by December 10.
More highlights of the bill:
- An official said the proposal is to be introduced as a bill in the winter session of Parliament beginning next week. There have been 177 reported cases of instant talaq before the judgement and 66 after the Supreme Court order this year. …Uttar Pradesh tops the list.”
- On August 22, the Supreme Court struck down triple talaq, calling the practice unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, which provides for equality before the law.
- The draft ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’ was sent by the Centre to the States as the practice continued despite the Supreme Court striking it down.
- The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children.
- The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue.
- Under the draft law, triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be bad or illegal and void.
- The provision of subsistence allowance and custody has been made to ensure that in case the husband asks the wife to leave the house she should have legal protection.
- In August 2017 landmark verdict, Supreme Court had banned practice of “triple talaq” in which Muslim men unilaterally divorce their wives by uttering talaq three times in quick succession, calling it “unconstitutional”.
- As per Supreme Court pronouncement, the practice of “triple talaq” is un-Islamic and “arbitrary” and was not integral part of religious practice.
- It also violated Article 14 (Equality before law) and Article 21 of Indian Constitution.
- Following this, the Centre came out with the draft Bill on triple talaq. The draft bill was sent by the Centre to the States as the practice continued despite the Supreme Court striking it down. The draft was prepared by an inter-ministerial group headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
- Since marriage and divorce are subjects that fall under the concurrent list of the Constitution, the law ministry has also written to state governments seeking their views “urgently” on the proposed legislation.
- The Union thought it proper, in view of the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, to consult the states.
Source:TH & PRS India