Rajya Sabha passes Triple Talaq Bill

New Delhi: A Bill to make the practice of Triple Talaq a criminal offence on Tuesday got the nod of Parliament with the Rajya Sabha approving it by a majority.

The Bill, moved by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prsad, was passed in the Rajya Sabha after a division in which 99 members supported the Bill while 84 members rejected it.

Earlier, the House rejected an amendment by the Opposition to send the Bill to a Select Committee of the Upper House with 84 members voting in its favour and 100 rejecting it.

The House also rejected an opposition Motion to make the practice of Triple Talaq a civil offence rather than a criminal offence with 84 members voting in its favour and 100 against it.

With the approval of the Rajya Sabha, the Bill, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha on July 25, has received the nod of Parliament.

The Bill replaces an Ordinance promulgated by the Cabinet.

Earlier replying to a debate on the Bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad charged the Congress of being stuck in the same mode as witnessed during its stance in the Shah Bano case.

Mr Prasad assured the House that the Government intentions in bringing the Triple Talaq Bill that seeks to make the practice of Triple Talaq a criminal offence were right.

Responding to objections of Congress and other opposition parties on the criminalisation aspect of the Bill, he pointed out that similar laws were passed by the Congress earlier during its rule at the Centre.

“When the Hindu Marriage Act was passed, a second marriage was not just declared void, but made a criminal offence. This was passed by the Congress government. Similarly, the practice of dowry was made a non-bailable offence,” he said.

Bill makes -triple talaq a criminal offence

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 makes instant triple talaq a criminal offence and provides for a jail term to a Muslim man for the crime.

The Bill makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be void (i.e. not enforceable in law) and illegal.

It defines talaq as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq pronounced by a Muslim man resulting in instant and irrevocable divorce

It makes declaration of talaq a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years’ imprisonment with a fine. The offence will be cognizable only if information relating to the offence is given by the married woman (against whom talaq has been declared), or any person related to her by blood or marriage.

The Bill provides that the Magistrate may grant bail to the accused but only after hearing the woman (against whom talaq has been pronounced), and if the Magistrate is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail.

Under the Bill, the Muslim woman against whom talaq has been declared is entitled to seek subsistence allowance from her husband for herself and for her dependent children. The amount of the allowance will be determined by the Magistrate.