Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Triple Talaq is a form of Islamic divorce which has been used by Muslims in India. It allows any Muslim man to legally divorce his wife by stating the word talaq three times in oral, written, or more recently, electronic form.
Triple Talaq is of various forms but the most contentious of them is Talaq-Ul-Biddat followed by the Hanafi Sunni sect which enables the husband to irrevocably divorce his wife by pronouncing Talaq three times instantly.
In the triple talaq practice, men don’t need to give any reason for the divorce and the wife’s presence is not mandatory at the time of the announcement. Actual Muslim law states there should be at least a gap of 1 month between each talaq pronouncement.
In a recent Supreme Court judgment, stated that triple Talaq is unconstitutional and advised the government to form the framework and law accordingly. Meantime Muslim man could not use this practice. This was a much-needed relief for Muslim women in India.
Shayara Bano and others vs Union of India and others [Writ Petition (C) No. 118 of 2016]
In this case, the Court focused solely on the practice of triple talaq. In August 2017, the Court, by a majority of 3:2, set aside the practice of triple talaq. Of the justices who voted against the practice, two held it to be unconstitutional while the third relied on case precedents to reiterate that such practice was impermissible under Islamic law.
*Click here To read the Full Judgement from the Official Website of The Supreme Court Of India.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017
The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Law and Justice, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad on December 28, 2017.
It makes all the declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be void (i.e. not enforceable in law) and illegal. It defines talaq as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq pronounced by a Muslim man resulting in instant and irrevocable divorce. Talaq-e-biddat refers to the practice under Muslim personal laws where pronouncement of the word ‘talaq’ thrice in one sitting by a Muslim man to his wife results in an instant and irrevocable divorce.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2018
The government issued an ordinance to make the triple talaq illegal and void. The major provisions provided by the ordinance -
Instant triple talaq remains cognizable with a maximum of three years imprisonment and a fine.
The offence is non-bailable i.e. only a Magistrate can grant bail.
Bail can be granted only after hearing the wife.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018
The bill defines talaq as “talaq means talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband”. The act shall be extended to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The bill states that talaq-e-biddat is a cognizable offense with the punishment of imprisonment up to 3 years with fine. Also, the offense will be cognizable only if the married women against whom the talaq has been declared or any person related to her by marriage or blood, will give the information related to the offense.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019
This Ordinance, inter alia, declares the practice of triple talaq to be void and illegal and also to make it an offence punishable with imprisonment up to three years and fine.
The Ordinance protects the rights of married Muslim women and deter the practice of divorce by triple talaq (i.e., talaq –e –biddat). It also provides for payment of subsistence allowance and custody of minor children.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019
This bill passed by Lok Sabha on 30th July 2019 after a very long discussion and opposition finally got the verdict to all women.
The bill makes instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddah) in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp illegal and void, with up to three years in jail for the husband.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill got President Ram Nath Kovind's assent on 1st August, 2019, hence has now become a law.