The Ordinance to criminalise the practise of "triple talaq"- Muslim Women(Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance 2018- has been promulgated by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, yesterday.
The ordinance move comes after the Triple Talaq bill('Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill) got blocked in the Rajya Sabha in the last monsoon session, though the Lok Sabha had cleared it in December 2017.
"Talaq" for the purposes of the Ordinance means as "talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband". Section 3 of the Act declares pronouncement of talaq to be void and illegal. Pronouncement of talaq has been made an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years and fine.
The offence will be cognizable only if the complaint is lodged by the victim wife or her close blood relatives. Also, the offence will be compoundable at the instance of the wife on such terms and conditions as deemed fit by the Magistrate. The offence is also bailable, and Magistrate can grant bail, but only after hearing the wife. The Ordinance provides for grant of custody of the minor child to the wife, and also maintenance suitably determined by the Magistrate.
The Ordinance has changed some of the contentious provisions in the Bill introduced in the Parliament. As per the Bill, the offence was cognizable, which meant that anyone could have lodged FIR in respect of the practise. This was widely criticised by opposition parties as having the potential to misuse and harass Muslim men. Also, as per the Bill, the offences were non-bailable and non-compoundable.
The Cabinet had approved the Ordinance yesterdat, as informed by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a press meeting.
In August 2017, the Supreme Court had declared the practise of 'triple talaq' to be unconstitutional, by 3:2 majority.