India bans instant divorce by Muslim men

Many Muslim organisations have opposed what it calls government interference in personal laws of the community

Many Muslim organisations have opposed what it calls government interference in personal laws of the community

India's government has chose to make the practice of instant triple talaq a punishable offence through an executive order after the law failed to pass in parliament in August.

The ordinance has similar provisions as The Muslim Women Protection of Rights in Marriage Act that the Lok Sabha cleared in December. Jahan had moved the court after her husband divorced her over the phone from Dubai in 2014 by uttering "talaq" three times. "There are issues related to maintenance of women and children after her husband goes to jail, no one is talking about them", she said.

Prasad said that 201 cases have been reported across the country even after the top court's order.

"The Cabinet has passed the triple divorce ordinance".

He was quoted saying by news agency ANI: "This ordinance is against the Muslim women". This ordinance will not provide justice to the Muslim women.

After the Cabinet passed the ordinance, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the government of politicising the matter.

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"I welcome the Centre's decision to bring an ordinance to make triple talaq a penal offence". However, since the practice was still prevalent, the court had asked the government to bring a law against the practice.

The Union Cabinet approved Wednesday an ordinance to ban the practice of instant triple talaq, with Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying there was a "compelling necessity" to bring the measure as instances of "talaq-e-biddat" continued unabated despite the Supreme Court striking it down.

"We want the congress to say it on the floor of the house, not on TV", he said, adding that the bill was not watered down. In a landmark 3-2 verdict, the apex court found the practice un-Islamic and "arbitrary", and disagreed that triple talaq was an integral part of religious practice.

He said it was "shocking" that a "woman leader like Sonia Gandhi did not cooperate with government" to get rid of the "barbaric" process of Triple Talaq.

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.

Women's rights activist Shabnam Hashmi said criminalising triple talaq was aimed at polarising people. With Cabinet giving a nod, triple talaq will soon become an offence in the country.

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