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Triple Talaq Ban in India: Union Cabinet Passes Bill Making the Practice a Criminal Offence

The BMMA celebrates its victory over the much-debated practice of instant divorce

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Triple Talaq continues to plague lives of Muslim women, VOA News
Triple Talaq continues to plague lives of Muslim women, VOA News
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  • Supreme court had ruled that the practice of triple talaq as illegal in August 2017.
  • On December 15, the Union Cabinet passed a bill which would make it a criminal offence
  • .The bill recommends a sentence of imprisonment for three years in case of a violation.
  • The bill also makes provisions for “subsistence allowance” for the women divorced through triple talaq.

On December 15, the Union Cabinet of India cleared a draft legislation, which would make the controversial practice of triple talaq a criminal offence in India, a violation of which may result in imprisonment for a period of three years for the husband. The recently approved bill, deemed as the ‘Muslim Women’s Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’, was framed by a group of ministers including the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and was headed by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

What is triple talaq

The practice of triple talaq, or talaq-e-biddat, is a Islamic ritual through which a man might divorce his wife by uttering the word ‘talaq’, that is, the Arabic word for ‘divorce’, three times. The controversial practice, which dates back to Islamic scriptures of the 8th century AD, was a common one among the Muslim population in India, often enacted through letters, emails, text messages, Skype and Whatsapp.

The Supreme Court of India bans the practice of triple talaq
The practice of triple talaq still continues, in spite of the ban, VOA News

Triple Talaq Ban

On August 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of India had banned the archaic practice of triple talaq, after a long and hard legal battle fought by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), also known as the Indian Muslim Women’s Movement. “Triple talaq is against the basic tenets of the Holy Quran and consequently, it violates Shariat … What is held to be bad in the Holy Quran cannot be good in Shariat and, in that sense, what is bad in theology is bad in law as well,” they had declared, making India the 23rd nation to ban the practice of unilateral divorce, after Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Many non-governmental Islamic organizations, along with certain clerics had opposed the verdict, on the grounds that it was an infringement of their right to religion, which is ensured by Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. The Supreme Court, however, had decided to uphold Article 14 of the Constitution, which grants every citizen equality before the law. The verdict had met with mixed reactions among the people of India, attracting applause as well as apprehension all over the country.

The Supreme Court of India bans the practice of triple talaq
Women can now demand subsistence allowance for themselves and minor children, VOA News

However, in spite of the Supreme Court verdict, there have been reports of instant divorces performed through the process of oral declaration, as many continued to ignore the various advisories issued by the government.
The new bill approved by the government also makes provisions for Muslim Women to demand “subsistence allowance” for herself and her minor children from her husband, in case she feels victimised by the now illegal practice of triple talaq.

 

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Microsoft and DSCI to Tie up For Programme to Skill Women in Cybersecurity

The programme, spanning three years, will cover locations from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Rajasthan and Telangana

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Microsoft, DSCI launch programme to skill women in cybersecurity. (Wikimedia commons)

Microsoft India on Monday partnered with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) to launch a programme aimed at fostering talent and building a pool of women cybersecurity professionals in the country.

As part of the three-year programme, called the “CyberShikshaa”, 1,000 women from underserved communities will be trained in ten locations across the country and offered employment opportunities.

Beginning on Monday, the first phase of the programme will be rolled out across Noida, Patna, Hyderabad and Mohali.

 “CyberShikshaa is significant in more ways than one. It will empower women technologists, ensure a growth driven livelihood for them and increase the participation of women in the industry,” Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said in a statement.

According to NASSCOM, the strength of the women workforce in the IT-ITeS industry currently stands at 34 per cent.

CyberShikshaa will develop a comprehensive ecosystem and evangelise women to harness the opportunities of cybersecurity as a career.

Microsoft Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity, Pixabay

In addition to establishing a strong training network with competent trainers and infrastructure, it will work to facilitate partnerships amongst government, industry and academia.

“Cybersecurity skills development and enabling growth opportunities to women talent in cybersecurity domain is a key imperative for government and industry,” added Rama Vedashree, CEO at the DSCI

The CyberShikshaa curriculum will comprise an interactive, four-month training course with a combination of theory, case studies and practical hands on projects managed by a group of training partners led by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

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Open to women science graduates between the age of 20-27 years, it will also include mentoring sessions and workshops with industry leaders, soft skills training and technical sessions by Microsoft employee volunteers. Campus interviews will be organised for students on successful completion of the course.

The programme, spanning three years, will cover locations from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Rajasthan and Telangana. (IANS)