New Delhi: The government has tabled the triple talaq bill, which criminalises the controversial practice of instant divorce, in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
While the government maintains that the bill is meant to ensure “gender justice and gender equality” for married Muslim women, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and other minority institutions claim that it violates minority rights. Social activists, too, have objected to the bill, questioning the need to criminalise a practice declared "void" by the Supreme Court.
Here’s a look at what The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill, 2017 provides for:
— Under proposed bill, a Muslim man who resorts to Talaq-e-Biddat or instant talaq would be jailed for three years
— The custody of any minor children from the marriage would be granted to the affected woman
— The makes instant divorce a non-bailable offence which can lead to an imprisonment of up to three years upon conviction.
— It also makes it mandatory for the husband to pay maintenance to his wife and child support towards any children.
A five-judge bench of the Supreme had declared the practice as “unconstitutional” and not an essential part of Islamic law and faith, but cases of Muslim men divorcing their wives through instant triple talaq did not subside.
The government has informed Parliament that "66 cases of triple talaq were reported" even though the apex court struck any such form of divorce thus proving that the verdict had failed to act as a deterrent.
Coinciding with the introduction of the bill in the Lok Sabha, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), too, has decided to hold an executive body meeting at Nadwa-tul Ulema in Lucknow on December 24 to finalise its response to the bill.