Uttar Pradesh has become the first state to endorse the Centre’s draft bill that makes instant triple talaq a cognisable and non-bailable offense. The draft law, which provides for three years’ imprisonment and a fine to a Muslim man trying to divorce his wife by uttering “talaq” three times, got the UP government’s approval at a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath here last night.
“The Centre’s draft Bill on triple talaq has been endorsed by the Cabinet. The Centre had asked the states to send their respective views on it by December 10,” UP government spokesman and cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh said.
Uttar Pradesh has become the first state to give its nod to the proposal, which is to be introduced as a bill in the Winter session of Parliament beginning next week, an official said. There have been 177 reported cases of instant talaq before the judgment and 66 after the Supreme Court order this year.”…Uttar Pradesh tops the list,” he said.
As per the draft, triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat will be a “cognisable and non-bailable” offence punishable with three years imprisonment and the wife will be entitled to maintenance and the custody of children if they are minor.
The Supreme Court had on August 22 struck down triple talaq, calling the Islamic practice unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, which provides for equality before the law. The draft ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’ was sent by the Centre to the state governments for their views as the practice continued despite the Supreme Court striking it down.
The draft was prepared by an inter-minister group headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The proposed law would only be applicable to instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children.
The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue. Under the draft law, triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be bad or illegal and void.
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.