India steps closer to making triple talaq a punishable offense

Triple talaq Modi government Modi government on Tripal talaq Randeep Surjewala Congress BJP Triple talaq ordinance india news

The country's cabinet has approved an executive order to make the practice a punishable offence.

In August, the Union cabinet had cleared some amendments to the draft bill allowing the magistrate to grant bail after hearing the wife; and made the offence of instant triple talaq "compoundable".

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 past year.

"The BJP's stand on the Muslim plight is well known and they have little sympathy for the community", said Yogendra Yadav, an academic and politician who heads the socio-political organisation Swaraj India. "In Islam, marriage is a civil contract and bringing penal provisions in it is wrong", says Asaduddin Owaisi.

"For us, triple talaq has always been a human issue related to women rights and extending justice to them", he said, adding that this is the reason why Congress leaders and lawyers such as Salman Khurshid and Manish Tiwari represented the affected women before the Supreme Court in the case. "Modi government not making this an issue for justice for Muslim women, but making this into a political issue", said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

He also said that he was "delighted" the Cabinet gave its approval to the "historic" Triple Talaq ordinance. But the Modi government is avoiding this.

The Law Minister used the opportunity to attack the Congress, saying it is not supporting the bill pending in Rajya Sabha under "vote bank pressures".

"What is important is that the practice of triple talaq continues in spite of Supreme Court having annulled it and Lok Sabha having passed a bill which is pending in the Rajya Sabha".

"There was an overpowering urgency and a compelling necessity to bring the ordinance as the practice continued unabated despite the SC order a year ago", Prasad told a press conference.

"However, the Modi government is treating the issue more as a political football than a matter of justice to Muslim women", he alleged.

He said there have been a series of papers citing many instances of Triple Talaq.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told a news conference the cabinet approved the decree because the practice persisted despite the court decision. They should have the right to allowance from the property of their husband to look after themselves and their children.

Describing the practice as 'barbaric and inhuman, ' he said almost 22 countries have regulated triple talaq.

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