The Bill seeks to make Triple Talaq a criminal offence, with a jail term of up to three years for the husband. Under the Bill passed in Lok Sabha yesterday, Muslim women will be entitled to financial assistance from the husband in instant talaq cases.
The contentious Triple Talaq Bill criminalising instant divorce by Muslim men was passed in the Lok Sabha amid a heated debate followed by an Opposition walkout on Thursday. While the government projected the Bill as a question of “Insaaniyat aur Insaaf“, the Opposition accused the government of indulging in vote bank politics and demanded that the Bill is referred to a joint select committee.
The case dates back to 2016 when the Supreme Court had sought assistance from the then Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on pleas challenging the constitutional validity of “triple talaq”, “nikah halala” and “polygamy”, to assess whether Muslim women face gender discrimination in cases of divorce.
Opposing the practice of triple talaq, the Centre told the top court that there is a need to re-look at these practices on grounds of gender equality and secularism. The Supreme Court later announced the setting up of a five-judge constitutional bench to hear and deliberate on the challenges against the practice of ‘triple talaq, nikah halala’ and polygamy.
The issue gained political momentum on March 2017 when the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told the Supreme Court that the issue of triple talaq falls outside the judiciary’s realm and that these issues should not be touched by the court.