Pune: The Union Cabinet on Thursday gave the approval to amend the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, which makes the pronunciation of triple talaq a non-bailable offence. According to the reports, the changes suggested are that although instant divorce will be treated as a non-bailable offence, it is permissible to a magistrate to give bail to the accused.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, was originally drafted in 2017 following a Supreme Court verdict. As per the clause 4 of the Bill, “Whoever pronounces instant triple talaq upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and fine.” While clause 7 of the Bill criminalises instant divorce and defines that ‘it will be a punishable, cognisable and non-bailable offence within the meaning of the Code (The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973).’
Sakal Times conducted an online poll on whether the triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat should be made a non-bailable or bailable offence. Around 81 per cent of the votes were in support making it a non-bailable offence and remaining 19 per cent voted for the bailable offence.
Activists have also expressed that by making triple talaq bailable, it will become toothless.
“The initial purpose of promoting a bill like this was to bring divorce cases to court. Our aim was that it should happen according to a court of law and not verbally, where women are left vulnerable. However, over the time experts and politicians coming up with several assessment and analysis of the Bill has actually defeated the initial purpose,” said Shamshuddin Tamboli, President of Muslim Satyashodak Mandal.
He also stated that it will discourage women if the Bill allows for a bail option in these cases. “It will dent the sharpness of the fight which victims are courageously fighting for. The Bill should make laws that will protect women and not allow them to be a victim easily,” said Tamboli. Even few others have expressed that giving bail to the accused can bring threats to the victim. “Just like the recent incident that took place live in a family court, where the husband tried to pour petrol and set his wife afire. There are chances that accused husbands will take the opportunity of being free and threaten their wives to take the case back or lieu them to do so,” said Aarshiya Bagwan, who has been fighting her divorce case for three years.