New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 that makes instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence, with a jail term of up to three years with a fine.
The Bill, which seeks to replace an ordinance promulgated in September prohibiting divorce by pronouncing "talaq" by the husband, was passed after over four-hour discussion that saw some heated exchanges between the Opposition and Treasury benches.
Before a vote on the Bill, the Congress and the AIADMK staged a walkout over the government not accepting their demand to refer it to a joint select committee of the Parliament.
The Bill makes instant triple talaq a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years' imprisonment with a fine. The offence will be cognizable if information relating to the offence is given by the married woman against whom talaq has been pronounced or any person related to her by blood or marriage.
The proposed law would be applicable to the entire country, except in Jammu and Kashmir.
Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Narendra Modi government, had been pushing for the Bill. In August last year, when the Supreme Court termed instant triple talaq as "unconstitutional" and "arbitrary", the Centre announced that it would bring in a revised law.
The revised Bill was drafted after the first draft got stalled in Rajya Sabha in January and the Opposition members suggested changes.