Triple Talaq bill gets President's assent

The Triple Talaq Bill or the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 received President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent on July 31, 2019. The bill has now become a law.

The Triple Talaq bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on July 30 through ballot voting with 99 votes in favour and 84 against. The bill’s passing marked a landmark victory for Modi Government 2.0. The bill was passed despite protests by the opposition. While opposition parties including JD(U) and AIADMK staged a walkout after opposing the bill, MPs of TDP, BSP and TRS parties were missing from the Parliament during the voting despite raising their voice against the bill’s criminality clause.

The Lok Sabha had passed the triple talaq bill earlier through a voice vote, amidst opposition walkout. The crucial bill had lapsed previously after the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. Though the bill had been passed by the Lok Sabha then, it could not move through the Rajya Sabha, where the opposition was in majority.

Also read: Triple Talaq Bill: History created in Rajya Sabha, Triple Talaq bill passed

Triple Talaq Bill provisions

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 makes instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat illegal and void. It makes the practice of instant triple talaq punishable by a jail term of 3 years. The law will come into force from September 19, 2019.

The Triple Talaq Bill states that "any pronouncement of talaq by a Muslim man upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal."

The bill abolishes the practice of instant triple talaq in any form, be it in spoken form, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp or in any other manner whatsoever.

Under the bill’s provisions, the offence of triple talaq will be cognisable if information relating to it is given either by the woman against whom talaq was pronounced or by any of her blood relatives.

The offence committed under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 will be treated as cognisable and non-bailable.

The triple talaq bill gives power to the magistrate to decide whether to release the husband on bail or not after listening to the woman against whom talaq has been pronounced. Only if the Magistrate is satisfied with the reasons provided for the bail, will the bail be granted.

The magistrate can also use his powers to settle the dispute between a husband and his wife. The wife can drop the case against her husband if he returns to her later and they arrive at a compromise.

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