Union Cabinet approves ordinance to make instant Triple Talaq a criminal act

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The Union cabinet has cleared an ordinance on 19 September, 2018 to make the practice of instant Triple Talaq a penal offence. Law Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said citing compelling necessity for the move as the practice annulled by the Supreme Court continues unabated.

Addressing a press conference, he accused the Congress party of not cooperating in the passage of the ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, pending in the Rajya Sabha, because of vote bank politics.
Citing details of the ordinance, he said a woman or her blood relative will have to file a case before a police station to make the offence cognizable.

The offence is compoundable. A compromise can also be reached before a magistrate after the affected woman consents to it, he said. It is my serious charge that despite having a woman leading the Congress, the did not lend support to the bill, he told reporters.

Describing the practice as barbaric and inhuman, he said nearly 22 countries have regulated Triple Talaq. However, gender justice was given a complete go-by in a secular country like India because of blatant vote bank politics.

“I will again appeal to Sonia ji that this ordinance has been brought in the interest of the country to bring gender justice. I appeal to you to rise above vote bank politics and help pass it in the interest of justice for women,” he told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The Union minister also appealed to Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee to help in the passage of the bill pending in Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks numbers. The Lok Sabha has already passed the bill.

The Supreme Court last year banned the practice. But since the practice was still prevalent, a bill was brought to make it a penal offence.

Ishrat Jahan, a petitioner in the Triple Talaq case, welcomed the decision as a big step towards “empowering Muslim women.” Jahan, who has a 13-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son, moved the court after she was divorced by her husband over phone from Dubai by uttering ‘talaq’ thrice consecutively in 2014.

Triple Talaq ordinance historic: Amit Shah

BJP National President Shri Amit Shah described the ordinance making Triple Talaq a punishable offence, as historic decision and said it was also a matter of introspection for political parties that forced Muslim women to suffer to preserve their vote bank. Addressing a press conference at the party head office in New Delhi on 19 September, 2018 Shri Amit Shah hailed Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the Cabinet’s nod to the ordinance. In a tweet, he said the decision would allow Muslim women to live with dignity.

He said the government’s decision to bring an ordinance to make the practice of instant Triple Talaq a penal offence was a huge step towards “empowering women.”

Taking a dig at the Congress he said it had defended this practice in the Supreme Court. For all these years, the Congress politicized the Triple Talaq issue for vote bank politics.

This ordinance is also a matter of introspection for the Congress as it forced Muslims women to suffer from this bad practice for decades, he said.