New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the re-issuance of an ordinance making the practice of instant triple talaq a criminal offence, sources said. The earlier ordinance, issued in September last year, was to expire on January 22.
A bill to convert the ordinance into a law is pending in Rajya Sabha where the opposition has been resisting its passage. An ordinance has a life of six months. But from the day a session begins, it has to be replaced by a bill which should be passed by Parliament within 42 days (six weeks), else it lapses. The government is at liberty to repromulgate the ordinance if the bill fails to get through Parliament.
A fresh bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 17 last year to replace the ordinance issued in September. The lower house later gave its nod to the bill. But it faced stiff opposition when it was tabled for consideration in the upper house. It is now pending its approval. Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) will be illegal and void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband. The fresh bill superseded an earlier bill passed in the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Rajya Sabha.
The earlier bill was approved by the lower house. But amid opposition by some parties in the upper house, the government had then cleared some amendments, including introduction of a provision of bail, to make it more acceptable. However, as the bill continued to face resistance in the Rajya Sabha, the government issued an ordinance in September last year incorporating the amendments.