Government mulls making triple talaq non-bailable offence, 3-year imprisonment for erring men

NEW DELHI: Giving triple talaq will be a cognizable and non-bailable offence and would attract a jail term of three years, according to a draft law aimed to curb the practice which continues despite the Supreme Court striking it down.
The draft law has been finalized by the Center and was sent to states for their views on Friday, even though it is not binding on the Center to take the concurrence of states on any law passed by both the Houses of Parliament. The law, however, will not be applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The draft was prepared by an inter-minister group headed by home minister Rajnath Singh. The other members included external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, finance minister Arun Jaitley, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and his junior in the ministry PP Chaudhary.
According to the proposed law, a victim of instant divorce can seek the custody of her minor children as well as maintenance from her husband by approaching a magistrate after registering a complaint with the police.
Under the draft law, triple talaq in any form – spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp – would be banned.
The government has received 67 complaints from Muslim women who had been divorced through the practice even after the Supreme Court in a majority judgment held it illegal in August.
In 2017 alone, the government has received as many as 177 complaints from Muslim women victims of instant triple talaq. The victims had approached the government saying the police had refused to register a complaint due to the absence of law.
A senior government functionary said the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act were found to be of little help in such cases.
“The plan is to bring it in the winter session of Parliament,” he added.
As the law stands today, a victim of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ or instant triple talaq would have no option but to approach the police for redressal of her grievance as a Muslim clergy would be of no assistance to her.
Even police are helpless as no action can be taken against the husband in the absence of punitive provisions in the law, they explained.
(With inputs from PTI)

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