NEW DELHI: Hell-bent to take political mileage of the Triple Talaq issue in the coming elections, the Narendra Modi government on Thursday made three key changes in the Triple Talaq Bill. With new changes, aimed to satisfy the concerns of the Opposition, the government wants its clearance from the Rajya Sabha where it is stuck since December last year. The bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha where Modi’s BJP has absolute majority.
The three changes relate to complainant, bail and custody of child. Now FIR over Triple Talaq will be filed only by victim woman or her blood relation or relation by marriage, magistrate will have power to grant bail to man and the woman can claim custody of the child. The bill in the present form is silent on these issues.
Explaining the changes approved by the Union Cabinet on Thursday, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “The Cabinet has approved the amendments in the law relating to triple talaq. We have proposed three changes. If a husband gives instant triple talaq to his wife, an FIR against him will only become cognizable when it is filed by the victim or anyone having blood relation or relation by marriage. The law has been made compoundable, that is, if the wife and the husband agree to settle their differences, then the magistrate can compound the offence on appropriate terms and conditions. The magistrate can grant the bail to the accused after hearing the wife.”
Media reports say the Bill also deals with subsistence allowance for Muslim women and custody of minor children.
The Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, popularly known as Triple Talaq Bill, has provision for a three-year jail term and fine for any Muslim man who divorced his wife by uttering talaq three times in quick succession.
The bill, prepared without consultation with stakeholders including the Muslim organizations, especially All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), had led to nationwide protests by Muslim women and groups.
AIMPLB is yet to react on today’s amendments.
After the bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha last year, several Muslim organizations had doubted the ‘sympathy’ of the BJP for Muslim women. Many had said that gangs of cow vigilantes, who claim to have political support, have rendered several Muslim women widow after lynching their husbands, but no BJP leader has come up to help such women.