The Supreme Court had in a verdict in August previous year declared instant triple talaq illegal and unconstitutional.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance making instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a punishable offence carrying a jail term of up to three years.
The government took the ordinance route to include provisions on triple talaq in the Muslim Women Protection of Rights in Marriage Act, which was cleared by the Lok Sabha in 2017 and is pending in the Rajya Sabha. Of these, he said, 229 were reported before the Supreme Court judgement, while another 201 came to the notice after it.
He urged UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, BSP supremo Mayawati and TMC chief Mayawati to support the bill in the next session of Parliament for the sake of "gender justice, gender equality and gender dignity". Under the Ordinance, the offence of Triple Talaq will remain a non-bailable one.
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. In an Independence Day speech last month Modi said he would "not stop till they get justice", referring to the women.
Describing the practice as 'barbaric and inhuman, ' he said almost 22 countries have regulated triple talaq. "Thirdly, a bail can be granted by the magistrate upon reasonable grounds but only after hearing the victim wife also", said Prasad.
Soon after the law minister's press conference, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said "subterfuge, subversion, suppression and diversion of truth' were ingrained in the DNA of the Modi govt and the BJP".
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.
The third amendment makes the law "compoundable", where a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute between the husband and wife. The following approval by the Cabinet comes at the time when the triple talaq bill still awaits an approval by the upper house of the Parliament. It now needs only approval from the president to become law. In a landmark 3-2 verdict, the apex court found the practice un-Islamic and "arbitrary", and disagreed that triple talaq was an integral part of religious practice.
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