Thursday, July 25, 2019

Lok Sabha Passes Bill to Criminalise Instant Triple Talaq Amid Walkouts by Congress, TMC and JDU

Lok Sabha Passes Bill to Criminalise Instant Triple Talaq Amid Walkouts by Congress, TMC and JDU

The Lok Sabha on Thursday gave its nod to a bill which seeks to penalize the practice of instant triple talaq by a voice vote. Several amendments moved by the Opposition were defeated.
The clause in the bill that criminalizes the practice with a jail term of up to three years for the husband was passed by a division of 302 in favor and 78 against.
The Lok Sabha on Thursday took up for consideration the contentious bill to make the practice of instant triple talaq illegal, with up to three years in jail for the husband.
Moving the bill for consideration, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the legislation was a must for gender equality and justice as, despite an August 2017 Supreme Court verdict striking down the practice of instant triple talaq, women are being divorced by 'talaq-e-bidder'. He said that since January 2017, 574 such cases have been reported by the media.
Three ordinances have so been promulgated as a similar bill moved by the previous government could not get the parliamentary nod. A fresh bill was introduced by the new government in June during the ongoing Parliament session.
Under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, divorcing through instant triple talaq will be illegal, void and would attract a jail term of three years for the husband.
Prasad said to allay fears that the proposed law could be misused, the government has included certain safeguards in it, such as adding a provision of bail for the accused before trial.
While the bill makes triple talaq a "non-bailable" offense, an accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail. In a non-bailable offense, bail cannot be granted by police at the police station itself. A provision has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail "after hearing the wife", the minister said.
The Opposition, however, was not convinced and claimed that the bill was against criminal jurisprudence and was politically motivated. The Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Janata Dal (United) also staged a walkout. The latter is an ally of the BJP in Bihar.

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