India parliament approves bill on outlawing triple talaq

The Indian parliament-approved bill that outlaws instant triple talaq among Muslims has become law as President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to it, a government notification said. The gazette notification, published Wednesday, says the President has given assent to the bill passed by Parliament. The new law, whose passage in the opposition-dominated Rajya Sabha two days ago marked a significant legislative and political victory for ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, will replace an ordinance promulgated on February 21 this year to the same effect.

The new law The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 makes talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband void and illegal. It makes it illegal to pronounce talaq three times in spoken, written or through SMS or WhatsApp or any other electronic chat in one sitting.

Any Muslim husband who pronounces the illegal form of talaq upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine, it says.The bill was passed by Rajya Sabha with 99 votes in favour and 84 against, as the ruling NDA, which lacks majority in the upper house, was helped by the absence of a number of lawmakers of opposition Congress, and other parties and of key regional parties which are not aligned with the BJP or the Congress
The triple talaq bill could not make it through the upper house earlier this year during the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, although it was passed by the Lok Sabha.The bill was again passed last week by the new Lok Sabha constituted after this year’s parliamentary polls.