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.
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.
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.