New Delhi: Instant triple talaq, if given may land a husband in jail for three years, according to a draft law aimed to curb the practice which continues despite the Supreme Court striking it down. The offence will be cognisable and non-bailable.
The draft ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’, was sent to the state governments today for their views, the law ministry would move Cabinet with the proposal after getting the response from the states.
The draft bill was prepared by an inter-minister group headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The other members included External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and his junior in the ministry P P Chaudhary.
The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’. Triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be bad or illegal and void as per the draft law.
Under the proposed law, woman can approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children. The woman can also seek custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue.
“The provision of subsistence allowance and custody has been made to ensure that in case the husband asks the wife to leave the house she should have legal protection,” a government functionary told PTI.
Talaq-e-biddat is a custom under Muslim personal law that allows a man to divorce his wife by uttering the word “talaq” thrice. Though a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court struck down the practice as illegal in a 3:2 judgement on August 22, it has continued, the functionary said.
As the law stands today, a victim of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ or instant triple talaq would have no option but to approach the police for redressal of her grievance although provisions of the Domestic Violence Act were found to be of little help, the functionary added.
The proposed draft will be implemented once it is passed in winter session of Parliament and after getting the President’s nod, the functionary said.
Women who have been given triple talaq before the proposed law comes into force can also seek custody of minor children and subsistence allowance using its provisions, another official said.