Now, Triple talaq is non-bailable offense

Union Cabinet clears ordinance to ban triple talaq

India: Triple talaq or instant divorce now a criminal offence

As the cases continued to be reported even after the court decision, the government chose to enact a law but could not get it passed in Parliament, after which the ordinance route has been adopted. If the government fails to do this, the ordinance has to be re-promulgated.

"There was an overpowering urgency and a compelling necessity to bring the ordinance as the practice continued unabated despite the Supreme Court order a year ago", Mr Prasad told in a press conference after the Cabinet meeting. Uttar Pradesh recorded the largest number of triple talaq cases, he said, with 126 cases before the apex court's ruling and 120 being reported after it.

'In a secular country like India, ' Prasad said, 'gender justice was given the complete go-by'.

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Prasad accused the Congress of stalling the Triple Talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha for the sake of its "vote bank politics". But the government has taken this step for political gains in upcoming elections.

Describing the practice as "barbaric and inhuman", he said almost 22 countries have regulated triple talaq.

Some said the ordinance ignores problems it could pose to Muslim women and there is need for a comprehensive law, while the Congress said what needed to be done after the Supreme Court quashed this practice was to provide justice to an abandoned Muslim woman and jailing the husband might not serve the objective.

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"Secondly, it's compoundable, it can be compromised only at the insistence of the wife upon appropriate terms and conditions as determined by the magistrate". Custody of minor children will remain with mothers and a magistrate can only grant bail to the husband after hearing from the wife. "What is the definition of "Subsistence Allowance" for Muslim women and children?; What is the method of calculating the "Subsistence Allowance"; How would the "Subsistence Allowance" be quantified; Will the "Subsistence Allowance" be in addition to "Maintenance" granted to a Muslim woman under Section 3 & Section 4 of "The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986" or will such "maintenance" be deducted from "Subsistence Allowance" or will a Muslim woman be entitled to only one of the two", he asked. The government took the decision after failing to get Parliament to pass legislation on the matter.

Reacting to this move, Asaduddin Owaisi, the President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has called the ordinance unconstitutional since it is made only for Muslim women.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 has been passed in the Lok Sabha but has been stalled in the Rajya Sabha - where the government does not have a majority - as three big changes were introduced on the last day of the monsoon session. Also, the complaints in a triple talaq case can be filed only by the victim (wife) or a blood relative. Others, like neighbours, can not lodge an FIR to prevent misuse of the proposed law. Now, a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute between a husband and his wife.

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The ordinance, which contains the provisions of the bill which is stuck in Parliament because of opposition from non-NDA parties, treats triple talaq as a non-bailable offence punishable with a sentence of up to three years. Several Opposition lawmakers argued that it must be sent to a Select Committee for close scrutiny. He reiterated the issue of triple talaq has nothing to do with faith, mode of worship or religion, it is a pure issue of gender justice, gender dignity and gender equality. "Our issue is with the criminalisation aspect".

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