It is the last day of the monsoon session of Parliament today and it is a crucial day in the Rajya Sabha where the government is slated to move the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017. The cabinet had on Thursday approved three amendments to the bill normally referred to as the Triple Talaq Bill. The Lok Sabha has already cleared the bill.
Seeking to allay fears that a proposed law which makes the practice of instant triple talaq illegal and imposes a jail term of up to three years on the husband could be misused, the government today approved certain safeguards in it such as adding a provision of bail for the accused before trial.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here that the Union Cabinet has approved three amendments to the ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’ which has been cleared by Lok Sabha and pending approval of Rajya Sabha.
While the proposed law will remain “non-bailable”, the accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail.
Under a non-bailable law, bail cannot be granted by police at the police station itself.
Prasad said a provision has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail “after hearing the wife”.
“But the offence of instant triple talaq under the proposed law remains non-bailable,” he clarified.
Sources later said the magistrate would ensure that bail is granted only after the husband agrees to grant compensation to the wife as provided in the bill.
The quantum of compensation will be decided by the magistrate, as per the bill.
Another amendment makes it clear that the police would lodge FIR only if approached by the victim (wife), her blood relations or people who become her relatives by virtue of her marriage.
The third amendment makes the offence of instant triple talaq “compoundable”. Now, a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute between a husband and his wife.
Under a compoundable offence, both parties have the liberty of withdrawing the case.
A woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue.
Giving instant triple talaq will continue to be illegal and void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.
The Upper House is also slated to take up the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (2nd Amendment) Bill. Apart from this today is the private member’s legislative business day in both Houses. Rajya Sabha will take up private members’ resolutions.
In Lok Sabha, the Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 will be introduced. The bill seeks to further amend the Divorcee Act, 1869, the Dissolution of Muslim.
Marriages Act, 1939, the Special Marriage Act, 1954, the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. The Lower House is also slated to take up the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018.
(With Agencies Input)