Triple Talaq becomes criminal offence as Modi govt brings ordinance

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The Supreme Court past year banned the practice.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters there had been 201 cases where triple talaq had been used to divorce Muslim women even after the top court's verdict.

"An unnerved BJP finding itself cornered on the issue of repeated and gruesome rape incidents, as also issues of women security seeking to divert and reset the political agenda by hurriedly bringing an ordinance on instant triple talaq", he said. The government should bring an ordinance into this, he added.

However, the bill faced stiff resistance in the Rajya Sabha.

The triple talaq bill aims to "set aside" the centuries-old practice of instant divorce or talaq-e-biddat by men.

The Supreme Court had in a verdict in August previous year declared instant triple talaq illegal and unconstitutional.

Indian Muslim women rest inside Jama Masjid mosque in New Delhi, India.

The offence of triple talaq is a non-bailable offence. It will now be sent to the President for his assent. "It is a pure issue of gender justice, gender dignity and gender equality", he said.

February 16, 2017: The Supreme Court announces the setting up of a five-judge constitutional bench to hear and deliberate on the challenges against the practice of "triple talaq, nikah halala" and polygamy.

He appealed to women leaders of the Opposition like Sonia Gandhi, Mayawati and Mamata Banerjee to come forward and support the bill in Rajya Sabha, where it will now be tabled in the Winter Session.

He also said a "compromise" can be achieved only when the woman is willing and says so to a magistrate.

The Congress on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP of using the issue of instant triple talaq as a political football for vote garnering rather than ensuring the welfare of Muslim women, and said they have become "habitual offenders". The Bill is yet to be introduced in the upper House of the Parliament. And in case of the couple's child's custody, a minor's custody will be given to the wife and she will also be entitled to alimony from the husband for herself and minor children, as ordered by the magistrate. The bail application must be heard by a magistrate and will be decided based on the statement of the aggrieved woman.

Blaming the Congress for the delay in passing the Bill, Ravi Shankar said he had approached the opposition party several times.

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