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Instant triple talaq now a criminal offence in India

President signs ordinance passed by Union Cabinet

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday night signed an ordinance banning the practice of instant triple talaq, a top law ministry functionary said.
The Union Cabinet had on Wednesday morning approved the ordinance to ban instant triple talaq and make it a punishable offence.
“Yes, the president has signed the ordinance,” the functionary said.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said there was an “overpowering urgency” to bring the measure as instances of this mode of divorce continued unabated despite the Supreme Court striking it down.
According to the ordinance, giving instant triple talaq has been made illegal and void, and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.
Seeking to allay fears that the law could be misused, the government has included certain safeguards in it such as adding a provision of bail for the accused before trial. These amendments were cleared by the Cabinet on August 29.
Prasad said a provision has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail “after hearing the wife”.
Sources later said the magistrate would ensure that bail is granted only after the husband agrees to grant compensation to the wife as provided in the bill. The quantum of compensation will be decided by the magistrate, as per the bill.
The police would lodge an FIR only if approached by the victim (wife), her blood relations or people who become her relatives by virtue of her marriage.
Neighbours and others cannot lodge a complaint under the proposed law. The offence of instant triple talaq will be “compoundable”.
Now, a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute between a husband and his wife. This will happen only when the wife approaches the court.
Under a compoundable offence, both parties have the liberty of withdrawing the case.
The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children.
A woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue. (PTI)

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