The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved Triple Talaq Bill, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said. The Bill will be introduced in the Budget Session of Parliament, to begin from June 17, Javadekar said. It will replace an ordinance issued in February by the previous BJP-led NDA government.
With the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month, the Bill had lapsed as it could not be passed in Rajya Sabha. Bills that are introduced in Rajya Sabha and are 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.
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 opposition parties which claimed that jail term for the husband for divorcing his wife was legally untenable.
The government had promulgated the ordinance on triple talaq twice.
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.
These amendments were cleared by the Cabinet on August 29, 2018. While the ordinance makes it a "non-bailable" offence, an accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail.
In a non-bailable offence, bail cannot be granted by police at the police station itself. A provision was added to allow the magistrate to grant bail "after hearing the wife", the government had said.
With PTI Inputs