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By Sushil Silvano, Our Special Correspondent. Edited By Adam Rizvi, TIO: According to Wikipedia, Triple Talaq (instant divorce and talaq-e-mughallazah (irrevocable divorce), was a form of Islamic divorce which has been used by Muslims in India, especially adherents of Hanafi Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence.
It allowed any Muslim man to legally divorce his wife by uttering the word talaq (the Arabic word for “divorce”) three times in oral, written or, more recently, electronic form.
The use and status of triple talaq in India has been a subject of controversy and debate. Those questioning the practice have raised issues of justice, gender equality, human rights and secularism. The debate has involved the Government of India and the Supreme Court of India, and is connected to the debate about a uniform civil code (Article 44) in India.
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On 22 August 2017, the Indian Supreme Court deemed instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddah) unconstitutional. Three of the five judges in the panel concurred that the practice of triple talaq is unconstitutional.
The remaining two declared the practice to be constitutional.
Three of India’s neighbouring countries — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka — are among the 23 countries worldwide that have banned triple talaq.
The Quran established means to avoid hasty divorces. It prescribes two waiting periods of three months before the divorce is final in order to give the husband time to reconsider his decision.
On 30 July 2019, the Parliament of India declared the practice of Triple Talaq illegal and unconstitutional and made it a punishable act from 1 August 2019.
The arrest in Agra of a former minister of Samajwadi Party in Yogi’s Uttar Pradesh on August 19 has once against focussed the spotlight on the misuse of Triple Talaq by a Muslim husband against his lawfully wedded wife.
Basheer is perhaps the most high profile name to be booked after Triple Talaq was deemed a criminal offence by an Act of the Indian Parliament.
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Talaq is an Islamic word for divorce, denoting dissolution of marriage when a Muslim man can severe all 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 is called Triple Talaq, also known as ‘talaq-e-biddat’.
The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937 had legalised and allowed the practice of Triple Talaq which gave a Muslim husband special privileges over his wife.
What is the Triple Talaq law?
Triple Talaq, also known as 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.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Bill, with 99 votes in its favour and 84 against it. The Triple Talaq law makes the instant triple talaq a criminal offence and provides for a jail term of three years for a Muslim man who commits the crime.
The law also makes Triple Talaq a cognisable and non-bailable offence. Introduced in the Lok Sabha by Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad on June 21, 2019, the Bill replaced an Ordinance promulgated on February 21, 2019.
As the Bill was pending for consideration in the Rajya Sabha and the practice of Triple Talaq divorce system was continuing, there was an urgent need to take immediate action to prevent such a practice by making strict provisions in law.
Triple Talaq void and illegal
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According to Clause 3 in Chapter 2 of the Bill, “any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal”.
Punishment for pronouncing Triple Talaq
The Clause 3 also states that, “whoever pronounces Triple Talaq upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and fine”.
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According to Clause 7 (c) in Chapter 3, “No person accused of an offence punishable under Triple Talaq law shall be released on bail after the Magistrate, on an application filed by the accused and after hearing the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq was pronounced, is convinced that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail to the accused”.
Custody of children
Clause 6 in Chapter 3 of the Bill states that, “a married Muslim woman shall be entitled to custody of her minor children in the event of pronouncement of talaq by her husband, in such manner as may be determined by the Magistrate”.
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Curated and Compiled By Humra Kidwai