Talaq is a Muslim word for divorce. It denotes dissolution of marriage when a Muslim man can severe all his marital ties with his wife. Under the Muslim law, ‘Triple Talaq’ means liberty from the relationship of marriage, eventually or immediately where the man by simply uttering the word ‘Talaq’ three times, ends his marriage. This instant divorce also known as ‘Talaq-e-biddat‘.
The Muslim personal law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937 had legalized and allowed the practice of Triple Talaq which gave a Muslim husband special privilege over his wife.
What is the Triple Talaq Bill?
Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, was passed by the Indian parliament as a law on July 30, 2019 to make instant Triple Talaq a criminal offence.
This bill makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form , to be void and illegal.
Features of the bill:
- It is applicable in whole of India but it is not extended to the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
- Any pronouncement of Triple Talaq by a Muslim husband to his wife in any manner, spoken or oral, will be void and illegal.
- Pronouncement of Triple Talaq would be a cognizable offence.The offence will be cognizable only if information relating to the offence is given by the married woman or any person related to her by blood or marriage.
- Any Muslim husband who communicates the ‘Triple Talaq’ orally or in writing may face punishment up to three years in jail.
- The Magistrate may grant bail to the accused only after hearing the women and if the Magistrate is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail.
- The offence may be compounded by the Magistrate upon the request of the woman (against whom Talaq has been declared). The bill empowers the Magistrate to determine terms and conditions of the compounding.
- A Muslim women against whom talaq has been declared and her children are entitled to receive an allowance for subsistence. Such an amount will be determined by a Judicial Magistrate of First Class.
- A Muslim woman is entitled to seek custody of her minor children even if her husband has pronounced talaq to her. The manner of custody of the child will be determined by the Magistrate.
Why criminalise Triple Talaq?
- Triple Talaq goes against the Rights of Equality (Article 14) and Women’s empowerment among Muslim women population of the country. This method of divorce does not stand with fundamental principles of gender equality and secularism. It puts a question on the dignity of women, justice and basic human rights privilege of the country.
- The Supreme Court of India in Shayara Bano Case (2017) had declared the practice of Talaq-e-biddat as unconstitutional. Still 473 cases of triple talaq have taken place even after two years of judgment pronounced by the Supreme Court.