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No Fear No Favour

End of triple talaq, draft Bill recommends 3-year jail term for husband

After Supreme Court strike down the practice of triple talaq in August this year and ordered Parliament to draft a law on the same, the draft committee has come up with the law to make the triple talaq a non-bailable, cognisable offence and illegal and void and husband practising will attract 3-years of jail term.

The draft was prepared by the group of ministers which is headed by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The ministers include External Minister Sushma Swaraj, Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Under the draft law, triple talaq in any form, spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as emails, SMS, and WhatsApp would be illegal and void. The draft will also have the provision of women to seek the legal custody of their minor children.

“The provision of subsistence allowance and custody has been made to ensure that in case the husband asks the wife to leave the house she should have legal protection,” the functionary said.

According to the draft law, this would be applicable to the entire country except for Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys special privilege.

The functionary pointed out that after the Supreme Court order, the government was of the view that the practice would end. “But it continues. There have been 177 reported cases of instant talaq before the judgment and 66 after the order this year…Uttar Pradesh tops the list. Hence, the government planned a law,” he explained.

He also added further that the provisions of Domestic Violence Act were found to be of little help in such cases as the government and the Prime Minister’s Office were receiving complaints from women.

Though the subject of divorce and marriages come under the Concurrent list of the Constitution and Parliament is free pass laws on it in emergencies.

As of now, the bill is in prospective in nature. But if Parliament feels, it can be implemented retrospectively after it gets the President’s nod, he said.

Another official related to the draft law said that the women who were given triple talaq before the proposed law can also seek custody of minor children and subsistence allowance using its provisions.

Once the views of the states are received, the law ministry would move Cabinet with the proposal.

Even police are helpless as no action can be taken against the husband in the absence of punitive provisions in the law, they explained.

Despite advisories being issued to the members of the community against the archaic practice, there seemed to be no decline in the cases of divorce by ‘talaq-e-biddat’, they claimed.

In a recent case of ‘talaq-e-biddat’, a man working with a leading educational institution divorced his wife through WhatsApp and SMS, the functionary said quoting media reports.

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