Congress may oppose triple talaq bill

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A draft law which seeks to make the practice of instant triple talaq "illegal and void" and provides for a jail term for the husband was cleared by the union cabinet on Friday.

The controversial practice allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by pronouncing "Talaq" (divorce) three times. "Parliament has started today, it is inappropriate to speculate on a bill not yet available to the Parliament. which has been promised", said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 got the cabinet nod at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had spoken about the issue even during the campaign of the just-ended Gujarat Assembly elections.

In August, the Supreme Court struck down the controversial Islamic practice of instant divorce or "talaq- e-biddat" as arbitrary and unconstitutional.

According to the proposed law, a victim of instant divorce can seek the custody of her minor children as well as maintenance from her husband by approaching a magistrate after registering a complaint with police.

The law making instant triple talaq illegal will be applicable everywhere across India, with the exception of Jammu and Kashmir.

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He also noted that the existing secular legislation had sufficient provision in the law that ensures that Muslim women are not subject to destitution and social exclusion.

In a 3-2 majority judgement, a five-Judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Fali Nariman, Uday Umesh Lalit and Abdul Nazeer held that "triple talaq" violated Articles 14 and 15 of Constitution.

The draft law was sent to states for their views on December 1 and they were asked to reply by December 10.

In a letter to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, he voiced concern over the attempt to table the bill in Parliament without consultation.