Bills and Acts Current Affairs

Uttar Pradesh first State to endorse Centre’s triple talaq draft bill

Uttar Pradesh became first state to endorse Union Government’s draft draft law — Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act that makes practice of instant “triple talaq” or talaq-e-biddat. a cognisable and non-bailable criminal offence. The draft law was endorsed by the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Background

In August 2017 landmark verdict, Supreme Court had banned practice of “triple talaq” in which Muslim men unilaterally divorce their wives by uttering talaq three times in quick succession, calling it “unconstitutional”. As per Supreme Court pronouncement, the practice of “triple talaq” is un-Islamic and “arbitrary” and was not integral part of religious practice. It also violated Article 14 (Equality before law) and Article 21 of Indian Constitution.

Draft— Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act

It makes any declaration of talaq-e-biddat or triple talaq by Muslim man illegal and void. It makes it a “cognizable and non-bailable” offence, punishable with three years jail and a monetary fine. It applies to instant triple talaq in “oral, written, electronic or any other form”.

It aims to empower Muslim women especially victims of triple talaq to move to court for seeking subsistence allowance for herself and dependent children, as well as custody of minor children. The draft bill prescribes for three-year imprisonment and a fine to a man who tries to divorce his wife through triple talaq. The law will be effective across whole country, however, will not apply to Jammu and Kashmir.

Comment

The Union has forwarded the draft law to states, and asked them to send their views soon. Though marriage and divorce figure in concurrent list, the Union thought it proper, in view of the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, to consult the states.

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MP passes bill awarding death for rape of girls aged 12 or less

The Madhya Pradesh Assembly has unanimously passed Dand Vidhi (Madhya Pradesh Sanshodhan) Vidheyak, 2017 that will see rapists of girls 12 years or below being hanged till death.

With this, Madhya Pradesh becomes first state where those convicted of such rapes will face the gallows. The Bill will now be sent to the President for his assent, after which it will become a law.

Key Features of Bill

The bill proposes death penalty or a minimum term of 14-year rigorous imprisonment or life imprisonment till death for raping girls aged 12 or less. It also increases minimum punishment for gang rape of girls aged 12 or less to 20 years rigorous imprisonment.

The bill also proposes punishment for disrobing, stalking or sex on pretext of marriage. Repeated stalking would be a non-bailable offence and offenders would be punished. Besides, it increases jail term for second or subsequent offences.

The bill proposes punishment terms ranging between 3 and 7 years for harassment (first offence). For second and subsequent offences, minimum jail term will be seven to 10 years and fine of Rs 1 lakh. Stalking will invite jail term of 3 years for first offence. Second and subsequent offences will be punished with minimum 3 years and maximum 7 years in jail and fine of Rs 1 lakh.

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