The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018

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The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018
Emblem of India.svg
Parliament of India
Bill to protect the rights of married Muslim women and to prohibit divorce by pronouncing talaq by their husbands and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
CitationBill No. 181 of 2018 "Bill as passed in lok sabha" (PDF).
Considered byParliament of India
Date passed27 December 2018
Bill citationBill No. 181 of 2018
Introduced byRavi Shankar Prasad (Ministry of Law and Justice)
Keywords
Triple Talaq in India
Status: Halted


The Muslim Women (Protection of RIghts on Marriage) Bill (2018) was a bill proposed to the Parliament of India. It was intended to protect the marriage rights of Muslim women in India by banning the triple talaq, which enables Muslim men, but not women, to instantly divorce their wives.[1] The bill was passed in 2018[2] and 2019[3] by the Lok Sabha, but lapsed after not being passed by the Rajya Sabha.[4]

Precursors[edit]

In August 2017 the Supreme Court of India declared the triple talaq, which enables Muslim men, but not women, to instantly divorce their wives, to be unconstitutional. The then Chief Justice of India, Jagdish Singh Khehar, asked Parliament to pass legislation governing marriage and divorce in the Muslim community.[5]

On 28th of December 2017, citing this Supreme Court order and multiple cases of instant triple talaq in India, [6] the Modi Government introduced The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017.[7] The bill proposed to make instant triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means - illegal and void. Punishment for breach of the law was to include up to three years in jail for the husband.[7] This bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India on the same day,[8] but was stalled by the opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house.[9]

On 19 September 2018, noting that the practice of instant triple talaq had continued unabated despite the Supreme Court's order, the government issued the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2018, to make the practice illegal and void.[10]

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill (2018)[edit]

An ordinance introduced into the Indian parliament lapses if either the Parliament does not approve it within six weeks of reassembly, or if disapproving resolutions are passed by both houses. Hence, a new bill named The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 [11] was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Provisions[edit]

The provisions of the bill were:[12] [11]:

  • All declarations of instant triple talaq, including in written or electronic form, will be void (i.e. not enforceable in law) and illegal.
  • Instant triple talaq remains a cognizable offence with a maximum of three years imprisonment and a fine. The amount of any fine is at the discretion of the magistrate hearing the case.
  • The offence will be cognizable only if information relating to the offence is given by the wife or one of her blood relatives.
  • The offence is non-bailable. However, there is a provision that the magistrate hearing the case may grant bail to the accused. The bail may be granted only after hearing the wife and if the magistrate is satisfied that there exist reasonable grounds for granting bail.
  • The wife is entitled to a subsistence allowance. The amount is to be decided by the magistrate.
  • The wife is entitled to seek custody of her minor children from the marriage. The manner of custody will be determined by the magistrate.
  • The offence may be compounded (i.e. legal proceedings halted) by the magistrate upon the request of the woman against whom talaq has been declared.

Status[edit]

The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 27 December 2018.[13] However, the bill remained stuck in the Rajya Sabha due to the opposition's demand that it be sent to a select committee. [14][15]

As the bill was not passed in the parliamentary session the ordinance expired on 22 January 2019. The government re-promulgated an identical bill as The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance (2019) on 10 January 2019.[16][17] This bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in the budget session of the Parliament, but was again stalled in the Rajya Sabha. As a result, the bill lapsed again when the Parliamentary session came to a close.[18]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Instant triple talaq to be a crime now as Union Cabinet approves Ordinance". The Indian Express. 19 September 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Lok Sabha debates bill 'criminalising' instant triple talaq: Who said what - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Cabinet approves re-promulgation of triple talaq ordinance". The Economic Times. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  4. ^ Mittal, Shaswati Das,Priyanka (14 February 2019). "Citizenship and triple talaq Bills lapse as budget session comes to an end". https://www.livemint.com. Retrieved 11 March 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ "Supreme court bars triple talaq". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  6. ^ "'100 cases of instant triple talaq in the country since the SC judgement'".
  7. ^ a b "'Government introduces triple talaq bill in lok sabha".
  8. ^ "'Landmark "Triple Talaq" Bill Clears Lok Sabha, In Rajya Sabha Next.'". NDTV. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  9. ^ "'No Triple Talaq Bill As Parliament's Winter Session Ends'". NDTV. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Instant triple talaq ordinance". Indian Express. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  11. ^ a b "THE MUSLIM WOMEN (PROTECTION OF RIGHTS ON MARRIAGE)BILL, 2018" (PDF). Lok Sabha India Website. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  12. ^ "2018 Bill Provisions". PRS India Website. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Lok Sabha debates bill 'criminalising' instant triple talaq: Who said what - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  14. ^ "triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  15. ^ "triple talaq bill stuck in Rajya Sabha - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Cabinet approves re-promulgation of triple talaq Ordinance- Economic Times". The Economic Times. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Cabinet approves re-promulgation of triple talaq Ordinance- News18". The News18. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Citizenship and triple talaq Bills lapse as budget session comes to an end". https://www.livemint.com. Retrieved 17 February 2019. External link in |website= (help)