Govt keen to bring anti-triple talaq bill in winter session
The Narendra Modi government is planning to bring a bill in the winter session of Parliament banning "triple talaq" (instant divorce), government sources said on Tuesday.
For this, the government plans to set up a group of ministers to work out the modalities of the legislation and its various implications.
The Supreme Court had banned the practice of triple talaq in August.
However, in the absence of any penal provisions against men who still divorce their wives through instant talaq and with a section of Muslim clerics still holding it valid, the women have little protection against the practice.
Pronouncing its judgment in Shayara Bano versus Union of India on August 22 this year, the apex court in a majority judgment set aside the practice of Talaq-e-biddat -- as the triple talaq is called in Islamic jurisprudence.
The judgment was widely appreciated by several women groups and sections of the Muslim society, though a few clerics also called it as against the Shariah and an unnecessary meddling by the courts in the Muslim Personal Law.
"In order to give effect to this order of the Supreme Court, the government is taking the matter forward and is considering to bring about a suitable legislation or amending existing penal provisions which shall make instant talaq an offence," a senior government functionary said.
Recently, a few cases where the Muslim husbands divorced their wives unilaterally through social media or phone came to light such as that of an Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) professor who divorced his wife through WhatsApp and SMS.
"In spite of advisories to the members of the community against this archaic practice, there seems to be no decline in the practice of divorce by Talaq-e-biddat. This could be because of the lack of knowledge among Muslim men of the Supreme Court's decision. It could also be because of lack of deterrent punishment for the act of Talaq-e-biddat," the government source said.
"As the law stands today, the victims of Talaq-e-biddat would have no option but to approach the police, but even police are helpless as no action can be taken against the husband in the absence of punitive provisions in the law," he said.
"It is to this end that the positive step being taken by the government of enacting a legislation will go a long way in deterring the Muslim husbands from divorcing their wives and empowering the Muslim women who find themselves helpless against the use of the practice of triple talaq"," he explained.
Many sects among the Sunni Muslims and the Shias do not permit instant talaq and the practice is majorly found among the Hanafi Muslims. - IANS