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Centre likely to introduce bill on Triple Talaq in Parliament on Friday

The Centre will introduce a bill on Triple Talaq in the Lok Sabha on Friday. Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar informed the media about the decision today.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had, on December 15, said that the Cabinet approved a proposal to introduce the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, to make instant triple talaq void and illegal.

The Supreme Court, in August, by a majority of 3:2, had ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims is “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.

Once the law is made to make triple talaq an offence, the victims will have the option of approaching the police and the legal system for the redressal of their grievances and for action to be taken against the husband.

Meanwhile, activists working for the rights of Muslim women hope that the Bill will further help stem instances of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat).

In fact they say, since the Supreme Court’s August verdict declaring instant triple talaq illegal and unconstitutional, the instances of such talaq have gone down.

Noorjahan Deewan, a social worker who works with Muslim women in the city said since the verdict, they have received three such complaints. “In two of them we managed to convince the husband that instant talaq was not valid and they agreed. Unfortunately, in the third case the religious leaders and others too got involved and said the divorce was valid,” said Deewan.

She said overall the number of complaints about triple talaq have gone down considerably after SC verdict. There has been considerable awareness among Muslims about what is acceptable and not acceptable form of divorce.

“It is not that it has stopped completely, but earlier we would receive so many cases but now they have gone down. Earlier, not many knew of the divorce but now many realise that instant triple talaq is no more valid,” she said.

Zakia Soman, founder of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) and a co-petitioner in the triple talaq case in SC, said the bill once passed will definitely act as a deterrent. But she fears it may not be enough. “The SC verdict was welcome but it did not lay out a procedure for divorce. The bill is yet to be made public but we want it to be just and fair. The wife should also have a say in divorce, maintenance and efforts to reconcile,” said Soman.

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