Tuesday September 25, 2018
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BJP issues whip on Triple Talaq legislation

Anyone who pronounces instant divorce "shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and a fine", the bill proposes.

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New Delhi: The BJP is believed to have issued a three-line whip to its MPs asking them to be present in the Lok Sabha on Thursday when the government plans to introduce the bill that criminalises the practice of instant triple talaq.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will introduce the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights and Marriage) Bill that seeks to protect the rights of married Muslim women and prohibits “any pronouncement (of divorce) by a person upon his wife by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form, or in any other manner”.

In a bid to ensure that the introduction is smooth, the BJP is understood to have issued the whip so that any stiff opposition from members on the other side at the introduction stage could be thwarted.

Triple Talaq is said to be against the Constitutional laws
Triple Talaq is said to be against the Constitutional laws

The bill proposes to make the triple talaq practice a punishable offence and describes it against “constitutional morality” and “gender equity”.

Anyone who pronounces instant divorce “shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and a fine”, the bill proposes.

Clerics and several Muslim organisations, cutting across sects and schools of jurisprudence, have opposed the bill, terming the government’s stand as “uncalled for interference” in the personal laws of the community.

Earlier, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar asked all opposition parties to help pass the bill in Parliament. IANS

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Triple Talaq Now Banned In India

While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched.

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Indian Muslim women talk while walking through a market in Ahmadabad, India. VOA

India’s government on Wednesday approved an ordinance to implement a top court ruling striking down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce.

The government decision came after it failed to get approval of Parliament a year after the court ruled that the practice of triple “talaq” violated the constitutional rights of Muslim women.

Most of the 170 million Muslims in India are Sunnis governed by the Muslim Personal Law for family matters and disputes. The laws include allowing men to divorce by simply uttering the Arabic word “talaq,” or divorce, three times — and not necessarily consecutively, but at any time, and by any medium, including telephone, text message or social media post.

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Triple Talaq continues to plague lives of  women, VOA News

The government will have another six months to get Parliament’s approval for the ordinance to become law. But in the meantime, suspects can be prosecuted using the ordinance.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that nearly 22 countries, including neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned the practice and appealed to the opposition to approve the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill.

India’s Muslim Law Board had told the court that while they considered the practice wrong, they opposed any court intervention and asked that the matter be left to the community. But several progressive Muslim activists decried the law board’s position.

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Muslim women hold placards during a protest against a bill passed by India’s lower house of Parliament last week that aims at prosecuting Muslim men who divorce their wives through the “triple talaq,” or instant divorce. VOA

After the Supreme Court verdict, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government introduced a bill criminalizing the practice and it was approved in December by the lower house of Parliament, where his party commands a majority. But it couldn’t get the approval of the upper house, where the opposition controls the majority of seats.

The main opposition Congress party is opposing a three-year prison sentence for the offenders and wants a parliamentary committee to discuss the issue to reach a consensus. It favors a lesser sentence.

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In India, triple talaq has continued with the protection of laws that allow Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities to follow religious laws in matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption. While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched. (VOA)

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