Centre approves ordinance criminalising instant triple talaq: Five things to know

Triple talaq Why despite welcome amendments many Muslim organisations remain disappointed

The Indian government Wednesday issued an executive order making the Islamic practice of "instant divorce" a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison.

India's lower house, controlled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), passed legislation outlawing the practice in December.

To make the proposed law palatable to the opposition, the government last month brought three amendments to The Muslim Women Protection of Rights in Marriage Act.

Muslim men in India who try to break free of their marriage contract by simply repeating the word "Talaq", or divorce, three times, will face jail for up to three years after the government criminalized the practice. Others, like neighbours, can not lodge an FIR to prevent misuse of the proposed law.

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"There was an overpowering urgency and a compelling necessity to bring the ordinance as the practice continued unabated despite the SC order a year ago", Prasad told a press conference.

The Bill is still pending in the Rajya Sabha.

Federal Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told a news conference the cabinet approved the decree because the practice persisted despite the court decision.

One of the changes introduced is that the police can lodge an FIR only if approached by the victim, her blood relations, or people who become her relatives by virtue of marriage.

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May 3, 2017: The Supreme Court allows Congress leader and senior advocate Salman Khurshid as amicus curiae in hearing of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of triple talaq.

He added: "As for other provisions are concerned, the mother/victim wife must get the custody of the minor child and the mother is entitled to a maintenance suitably determined by the magistrate for herself and the child". This means neither can the police grant bail nor can the accused apply for bail at the police station. Now, a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute between a husband and his wife.

Criticising the triple talaq ordinance, Hyderabad MP said that there are nearly 22 lakh women who are living without there husband. However, since the practice was still prevalent, the court had asked the government to bring a law against the practice. He said that a total of 430 cases have been reported across India from January 2017 till 13 September, 2018, of which 229 were reported before the Supreme Court judgement, and 201 after the verdict.

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