New Delhi, Aug 10: An amended version of the Bill criminalising the practice of triple talaq or instant divorce will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. The announcement came shortly after the Union Cabinet amended the legislation passed by the Lok Sabha, to incorporate the concerns raised by the Opposition.
Despite the changes promulgated to the law by the Cabinet, the offence of triple talaq will remain non-bailable. However, the accused can seek bail via a magisterial order.
"If the wife and the husband desire to settle their differences, then the magistrate can compound the offence on appropriate terms and conditions. Magistrate can grant bail after hearing the wife," said Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Prasad, however, clarified that the Bill will retain the non-bailable clause as it would act as a deterrent. "The only way to get bail is through an order by the magistrate after he hears the wife," the Minister added.
Another major change made to the law is that the complaint could now be registered only by the wife or those in blood relation with the couple.
"The FIR shall only become cognizable when it is filed by victim or anyone in blood relation to the accused or victim," Prasad said. This in contradiction to the earlier version of the Bill which allowed anyone to register a complaint on finding a case of instant divorce.
The legislation criminalising triple talaq - Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 - was passed by the Lok Sabha in the Winter Session of the Parliament.
In the Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks numbers, the Bill could not clear the decks as the Opposition had marked apprehensions over the non-bailable clause.
Commenting on the amendments made to the triple talaq law, Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the party has not been provided a copy yet. "We will study the Bill and take a decision accordingly," he added.