While the bill makes triple talaq a "non-bailable" offence, an accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail. (File Photo)
Triple Talaq Bill: The Narendra Modi government once again introduced the new Triple talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. The Lower House took up for consideration the controversial bill to make the practice of instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband. Moving the Bill for consideration, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the legislation was a must for gender equality and justice as despite an August 2017 Supreme Court verdict striking down the practice of instant triple talaq, women are being divorced by 'talaq-e-biddat'. He said, since January 2017, 574 such cases have been reported by the media. Three ordinances have so been promulgated as a similar bill moved by the previous government could not get parliamentary nod.
A fresh bill was introduced by the new government in June during the ongoing Parliament session. Under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, divorcing through instant triple talaq will be illegal, void and would attract a jail term of three years for the husband.
In fierce defence of the Bill, BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi cited the abolition of the ‘Sati Pratha’ and its impact on the Hindu society. Quoting Jawaharlal Nehru, Lekhi said wanted to see a just India and turn religious India to a secular India. This Bill will ensure that, she said. She recalled how divorce was allowed under Hindu Marriage Act. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury interrupts, reminds her about Hindu Maha Sabha. She counters, I am talking about women empowerment. I'll mention Hindu Maha Sabha, if needed.
She also spoke about the Shah Bano case and how Rajiv Gandhi government overturned the alimony clause. She said the Opposition is unable to digest that Narendra Modi is being a brother to innocent Muslim women. She mentions Akhilesh Yadav's name and Samajwadi Party members object to it.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi slammed the opposition’s votebank politics and said that the Opposition is against this Bill because they are afraid of losing a certain set of votes. The Bill is in lines with the constitutional commitment. The Bill will protect Muslim women, he added.
While the bill makes triple talaq 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 has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail "after hearing the wife", the minister said.
(With inputs from PTI)