Triple Talaq Row: Fresh Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

New Delhi: A fresh bill on making Triple Talaq a punishable offence was introduced in the Lok Sabha today to replace earlier ordinance which was issued in September.

The Fresh bill will now supercede the earlier proposed bill that declared instant triple talaq as null and void, apart from awarding three years jail term to Husbands.

Despite approval from the lower house, the bill was opposed by opposition parties in the upper house for which the government had to issue an ordinance in September, incorporating amendments.

But according to rules an ordinance has a shelf life of six months and has to be replaced by a bill which should be passed by Parliament within 42 days (six weeks), else it will no longer remain effective.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad while introducing the bill said despite the Supreme Court striking down the practice of talaq-e-biddat (instant triple talaq) as unconstitutional, men were divorcing their wives on flimsy grounds and even via Whatsapp.

Congress’ leader Shashi Tharoor opposed the introduction of the bill, saying divorce cannot be made a penal offence and its provisions were against basic principles of the Constitution.

Arguing on the issue, Prasad said “improvements” have been made in the earlier proposed bill and it shall help Muslim women facing the problem of instant triple talaq.

The proposed bill makes Instant Triple Talaq a “non-bailable” offence, where an accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail.

The new provision allows the magistrate to grant bail “after hearing the wife”

The magistrate would ensure that bail is granted only after the husband agrees to grant compensation to the wife as provided in the bill.

The quantum of compensation will be decided by the magistrate, as per the bill.

An FIR will be lodged by the police only if approached by the victim (wife), her blood relations or people who become her relatives by virtue of her marriage while neighbours and others cannot lodge a complaint under the proposed bill.

The Bill gives powers to the magistrate who can use it to settle disputes between a couple but this will only when the wife approaches the court.