Bill to criminalise instant triple talaq passed by Lok Sabha

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, has been passed by the Lok Sabha. The primary objective of the bill is to criminalise the pronouncement of triple talaq, by prescribing a punishment of up to three years of imprisonment for the same. The bill also provides for custody and maintenance rights of the wife upon such a pronouncement, although questions arise about the conflict between these provisions with the current law. The proposed legislation has met with widespread opposition from women’s groups, for further diluting Muslim women’s rights. Opponents have also pointed out the futility of incarcerating men for unilateral divorce, especially when such divorce have no legal validity, instead of focusing on women’s economic rights. The practice of triple talaq has been declared invalid, including for being un-Islamic, by successive Supreme Court judgments.