Union Cabinet Approves Ordinance to Criminalise Triple Talaq

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

"I will again appeal to Sonia ji that this ordinance has been brought in the interest of the country to bring gender justice".

The main opposition Congress party is opposing a three-year prison sentence for the offenders and wants a parliamentary committee to discuss the issue to reach a consensus.

The government expects the provision of a jail term of up to three years and a fine in the law to deter Muslim men from opting for instant divorce.

Sources later said the magistrate would ensure that bail is granted only after the husband agrees to grant compensation to the wife as provided in the bill.

Under the third change, a court can give bail to the husband after hearing his wife in a case.

He said the ordinance provides that the mother/victim wife must get the custody of the minor child and she will be entitled to a maintenance for herself and the child.

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Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the government has not acceded to the Congress request for making a provision of attaching the property of those not providing compensation to the affected women and children after giving them divorce.

"However, the Modi government is treating the issue more as a political football than a matter of justice to Muslim women", he alleged. Now, a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute between a husband and his wife.

It was hinted earlier that the Modi government might take the ordinance route to enact the bill, given they lack a majority in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament.

The BJP has accused the Congress of stonewalling the passage of the Triple Talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha which was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 29, 2017.

Instant triple talaq, the Islamic practice that allows men to divorce their wives immediately by uttering the word "talaq" thrice, had been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in August a year ago. But the Congress has so far failed to respond. The top court had, in a landmark 3-2 verdict, called triple talaq "arbitrary" and disagreed with it being part of religious practice.

India's Muslim Law Board had told the court that while they considered the practice wrong, they opposed any court intervention and asked that the matter be left to the community.