Pursuant to the decision delivered in August by the Supreme Court declaring Triple Talaq as void and invalid, the Home Ministry is planning to amend the IPC to bring the change to legislation, instead of bringing out a new law. The Govt. is considering the insertion of a section 497-A in the IPC, criminalizing the act of pronouncing Triple Talaq, which may attract imprisonment up to 3 years. The prevalence of the practice despite the Court’s verdict is pushing the Govt. to criminalize it, and the Bill in this regard will be placed before the Parliament subsequent to obtaining Cabinet’s approval.
The Supreme Court had declared as void, the practice of instant Triple Talaq, termed as Talaq-e-Biddat, under which scores of women have been divorced via phone, e-Mail, and Whatsapp. Absurd as it sounds, the practice had been prevalent in India despite being banned in several Islamic Countries, and considered as arbitrary and not approved by Quran. It has led to numerous Muslim women being divorced in a whimsical and irrevocable manner. This form is instantaneous, wherein three pronouncements are made in one go, and the divorce becomes valid right then in an irrevocable manner and irrespective of iddat period. It is different from the other two forms of divorce, namely Talaq-e-Ahsan and Talaq-e-Hasan, wherein periods of iddat are included in making the divorce final, and the same is revocable during this intermediate period. Declaration of the practice as void resolves in part the plight and discrimination suffered by Muslim women due to the arbitrary that was carried out in the garb of religion.
Legal sanction being attached to the provision will help ensure that the practice is indeed put to an end. The Govt. will be able to implement the change once the Bill is approved by the cabinet and the Parliament. It is hoped to promote gender equality and social security and eliminate derogatory religious practices.