Paving the way for the triple talaq ordinance to come into force for the third time in less than one year, the Union Cabinet on Tuesday gave its nod to re-promulgate the legislation. The ordinance makes the practice of instant triple talaq by Muslim men a penal offence and attracts a jail term of three years.
“The Cabinet has given its nod to the Triple Talaq ordinance,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after a Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ordinance will come into force after it is signed by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Since the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill could not get Rajya Sabha approval, the fresh ordinance was issued. The bill will lapse on June 3 with the dissolution of the present Lok Sabha.
Opposition parties have claimed that the jail term for a man for divorcing his wife is legally untenable. The government has asserted that it provides justice and equality to Muslim women.
When asked on the need by the government to clear the ordinance weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Jaitley said discussions on the legislation had been “physically prevented” in Parliament.
“It (discussion) has not been prevented because numbers were against it… Indian democracy cannot be helpless. Extraordinary situations do call for such steps,” he said. The government has included certain safeguards in the ordinance, such as adding a provision of bail for the accused before trial.