Govt will again bring bill in Parliament to ban triple talaq: Ravi Shankar Prasad

The government will bring a bill to ban the practice of instant triple talaq again in Parliament, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Monday.

With the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month, the contentious bill on banning instant triple talaq had lapsed as it could not be passed by Parliament and was pending in the Rajya Sabha.

Bills that are introduced in the Rajya Sabha and pending there do not lapse with the dissolution of Lok Sabha. Bills passed by Lok Sabha, and pending in the Rajya Sabha, however, lapse.

The opposition had been opposing provisions of the bill in Rajya Sabha where the government lacked numbers to ensure its passage.

Asked whether the bill on triple talaq would be brought again, Prasad said, “Obviously. (The issue of) triple talaq is part of our (BJP) manifesto. Why not?”

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which made the practice of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) a penal offence, was opposed by the opposition parties which had claimed that jail term for the husband for divorcing his wife is legally untenable.

The government had promulgated the ordinance on triple talaq twice. Under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019, divorcing through instant triple talaq will be illegal, void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.

A Bill to convert the earlier ordinance, issued in September 2018, was cleared by the Lok Sabha in December and was pending in the Rajya Sabha

Since the Bill could not get parliamentary approval, a fresh ordinance was issued.

Seeking to allay fears that the proposed law could be misused, the government has included certain safeguards in it such as adding a provision for bail for the accused during trial.

A provision was added to allow the magistrate to grant bail “after hearing the wife”, the government had said.

(With agency inputs)