Triple talaq: Cabinet approves provision of bail by magistrate
With the amendment, the offence continues to remain non-bailable attracting three years imprisonment for the husband, however, the magistrate can grant bail after listening to the wife
New Delhi: The Union cabinet on Thursday approved a provision of granting bail, if approved by a magistrate, in cases under the purview of the The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) bill, 2017, in a move that addresses some of the concerns raised by opposition parties.
The cabinet also approved an amendment that allows only the victim, a blood relation, or a person related by marriage to file a complaint. The government has also brought in a provision to drop the case if both sides agree.
The bill, which was meant to curb the use of triple talaq, was passed by the Lok Sabha in December and has been pending in the Rajya Sabha since then.
“Today the cabinet has made three amendments to the bill. First, if a husband gives a triple talaq to his wife, the FIR will only be cognizant if the victim, blood relation or those related by marriage file the case. We have made it compoundable. The magistrate, on appropriate terms and conditions, can compound if the couple is willing to iron out their differences,” Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
With the amendment, the offence continues to remain non-bailable attracting three years imprisonment for the husband. However, the magistrate can grant bail after listening to the wife.
“It is still non-bailable but magistrate can give bail after hearing the wife and on appropriate terms and conditions… There were some objections raised about this Bill and we have rectified that. Deterrence is necessary in law,” he said.
The legislation seeks to protect the rights of married Muslim women by prohibiting the practice under which a Muslim man can divorce his wife by uttering the word ‘talaq’ three times at one go. The proposed law makes such a pronouncement punishable with a fine and also has provisions for imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years.
“I appeal to Sonia Gandhi. Will you stand for women rights and pride or will the Congress continue to oppose the bill? Congress should make their stand known,” Prasad said.
The bill was brought about by the government after the Supreme Court in a majority judgment last year declared the practice of triple talaq unconstitutional and wanted parliament to bring in a legislation governing Muslim marriages and divorce.
“According to the latest government data, in 2017 at least 389 cases of triple talaq were recorded. Over 229 cases were reported from January 2017 to 22 August 2017. Even after the judgment, 160 cases have been reported till 23 July 2018,” said Prasad.
The Union cabinet also approved raising of four additional battalions of National Disaster Response Force to strengthen India’s disaster response set up at an estimated cost of ₹637 crore. Based on the vulnerability profile, these four battalions will be placed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi-National Capital Region.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved the project for construction of 6.930km long 4-lane bridge at Phulaut in Bihar. The CCEA also cleared the decks for rehabilitation and up-gradation of existing Birpur-Bihpur section of National Highway-106 from 106km to 136km to ‘2 lane with Paved Shoulder’ in Bihar at a capital cost of ₹1,478.40 crore. The construction period for the project is three years and is likely to be completed by June, 2022.
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