New Delhi, March 11: An effort to seek judicial intervention against the triple talaq ordinance fell flat on Monday when the Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain petitions against a fresh ordinance or executive order. “We can’t do much if the bill isn’t passed in the Rajya Sabha and the (Lower) House is now dissolved,” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.
The top judge’s decision came on a bundle of petitions against the ordinance that makes instant triple talaq a criminal offence. The ordinance, which had lapsed twice earlier, was issued for the third time last month because an amended version of the bill was stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the government does not have a majority.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, provides for three-year imprisonment and fine for any Muslim man, who abandons his wife through instance divorce.
The Opposition wanted a joint select panel to review the bill against instant divorce but did not get its way either.
The Centre did amend the original version of the ordinance last year. It said the changes had been made keeping in mind feedback and suggestions received from the public and experts.
For one, it decided that only the affected woman or her blood relative could file a police complaint against the husband. The earlier bill allowed anyone to lodge a complaint. The amended legislation also made the offence compoundable by a magistrate after hearing the wife.
Second, the offence will be compoundable, meaning a compromise can be reached at the instance of the wife.
Third, a magistrate can grant bail only after hearing the wife. The punishment for the crime is up to three years in jail.
To ban instant triple talaq, the Modi government had brought the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, in the Lok Sabha on December 28, 2017, where it had been passed by a voice vote. (Courtesy: HT)