The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved 3 amendments on the triple talaq bill, namely, that only a complaint can be filed by the victim (wife) or blood relations, that the husband and wife have an opportunity to reconcile and that the magistrate will have powers to grant bail. In addition, the woman victim can approach the magistrate to seek custody of her minor children and allowances for herself and her minor children.
The Triple Talaq Bill, formally known as the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, was to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, the last day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, however, due to protests the Rajya Sabha was adjourned.
Under the concept of triple talaq, a Muslim man can divorce his wife instantly by saying the word ‘talaq’ meaning divorce, thrice.
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Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced the changes on Thursday, saying that the government did not want “anyone to misuse the law while ensuring that justice is done”.
“The Union Cabinet has approved amendments in the law relating to triple talaq. We have proposed three changes. FIR will become cognizable only if the complaint is filed by the victim, wife, blood relations, or relations by marriage. If any outside agency or neighbour is initiating this process, it will not be registered,” Prasad told reporters.
“It has been made compoundable, that is, if the wife and husband desire to settle differences, then the magistrate can compound the offence on appropriate terms and conditions. Magistrate can grant bail after hearing the wife,” he said.
The provision to allow for bail had been one of the main demands of Opposition parties, to prevent misuse of the triple talaq bill.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, was introduced after the Supreme Court in a landmark 3-2 verdict set aside the centuries-old practice of talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq. While the Bill was cleared in the Lok Sabha where the BJP itself has a clear majority, it has been pending in the Rajya Sabha where the government lacks numbers.