India Makes Instant Divorce A Criminal Offense

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday signed off on an ordinance to make instant triple talaq an offence.

After the Supreme Court verdict, PM Modi's government introduced a bill criminalizing the practice and it was approved in December by the lower house of Parliament, where his party commands a majority.

Now with the President Kovind giving his assent on making triple talaq an offence, the practice of giving instant divorce or uttering the word "talaq" 3 times would land a person in a jail.

In August previous year, the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a law that allowed Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by uttering the word "talaq", or "divorce" in Arabic, three times.

"In a secular country like India. gender justice was given the complete go-by".

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.

September 19, 2018: The Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet approves an ordinance making instant triple talaq a punishable offence with a three-year jail term.

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In this January 7, 2018 file photo, an Indian Muslim woman holds a placard during a protest against a new draft law aimed at banning "Triple Talaq", a Muslim practice of instant divorce, in Ahmadabad, India.

October 7, 2016: The Centre opposes the practice of triple talaq in Supreme Court and said there is a need to re-look at these practices on grounds of gender equality and secularism.

She was one of the five petitioners in the case against instant triple talaq. Having failed to muster support in the Rajya Sabha to pass the contentious legislation, the ordinance route has been chosen, a move to mount pressure on political opponents who argue that the law needs the support of organisations representing the Muslim community and accuse BJP of playing "divisive" politics to polarise opinion on communal lines.

August a year ago by the Supreme Court. Additionally, an FIR can also be filed by blood relatives of the woman or by the people who became her relatives through marriage.

"And by criminalising this practice and imposing a draconian prison term, this government is only revealing its intention of going after Muslim men", she told The Quint. This, the minister stressed, has made the ordinance a "compelling necessity and an overpowering urgency".

Further, in order to safeguard the rights of the woman against whom Triple Talaq has been pronounced, she would be entitled to subsistence allowance for herself and her dependent children, at the discretion of the Magistrate. According to the new amendments, while the law remains "non-bailable", the accused can approach the Magistrate to seek bail even before trial. However, since the practice was still prevalent, the court had asked the government to bring a law against the practice.

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