A law banning so-called triple talaq divorce in India — in which a Muslim man can divorce his wife by saying the word talaq (divorce) three times — is to be discussed today in parliament’s upper house.
The bill would make instant triple illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband was passed by the the country’s parliament lower house last week.
This bill also allows the victim to approach a magistrate seeking a “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children and custody of children.
However, the bill could get stalled in the Rajya Sabha where government lacks a majority and it may be referred to a parliamentary committee for review.
Other Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh have already outlawed the practice. There are an estimated 155m Muslims living in India. Islam is the country’s largest minority religion.
India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has supported calls to end the triple talaq practice in a speech in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh last year.
The lives of Muslim women cannot be allowed to be destroyed by triple talaq. It is the responsibility of the government and people of the country to give justice to Muslim women.
However, conservative Muslim clerics and groups stand by the legitimacy of the practice.
Last April, when the issue was last taken to the Supreme Court, judges refused to enforce a ban on the triple talaq.
Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi attacked congress this morning for what he called its “confused” stand.
These days a number of reforms are being brought in. The triple talaq bill is one of them… The Congress takes one step forward and then 10 steps back. The party is confused on triple talaq. Muslim women are happy, but I don’t know why the Congress is sad.
You can follow along with live updates of the bill’s reading here.