President Ram Nath Kovind wants Triple Talaq Bill to be passed soon in Parliament

President Ram Nath Kovind made his first speech to both Houses in the Parliament, expressing his hope that the Triple Talaq Bill will be passed soon. He was addressing a joint sitting of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha at the beginning of the Budget Session.

The President said, “My government has brought the Triple Talaq Bill to safeguard the rights of the Muslim women. And I am hopeful that Parliament will pass the bill.”

He emphasized upon how 2018 would turn out to be a vital year in India’s journey to realizing its full potential. He enlisted the various measures that the government had undertaken such as the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign. He also mentioned the Maternity Bill that has been passed. “Parliament has approved a bill granting working women paid maternity leave of 26 weeks.”

He encouraged the masses to promote and support the Swachh Bharat mission. “It is our duty that when we celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019 we pay tribute to him by making our country completely clean.”

He also recognized the efforts made by the current government in promoting digitization. Broadband connectivity was already being initiated in villages across. He stated that 2.5 villages had already been connected.

Sources: Asian Age, The New Indian Express

Rajya Sabha adjourned amidst tabling of Triple Talaq Bill

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 for discussion and passage in the Rajya Sabha today, but with the opposition creating an uproar and the BJP countering it vociferously, the house was adjourned finally after a noisy session. The bill is currently awaiting its passage in Rajya Sabha for its final approval, is proving to be a difficult task for BJP as it does not have the strong numbers as compared to Rajya Sabha. The opposition however, opposed the move stating that the government instead of rushing the bill should take view of other stakeholders, and hence refer the bill to a select Committee.

The minister asked the Congress to come clean on its stand in the Rajya Sabha, since it had passed the bill in Lok Sabha just a few days earlier. The Congress however moved a resolution regarding formation of a select committee. However, the leader of the house, Arun Jaitley objected to the procedure under Rule 70(sub rule 2a) of the house, as the bill did not originate from Rajya Sabha, nor any previous notice was given for the same.

Amidst the implosion of words, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien adjourned the House for the day, without giving any ruling on the validity of the opposition’s demand.

Sources: Economic Times, The Indian Express

 

Cabinet approves bill that seeks to make ‘Triple Talaq’ a punishable offense

A bill that declares’ Triple Talaq as punishable offense has been approved by the Union Cabinet. According to the draft bill, triple talaq would be made illegal and void and would invite a jail term of 3 years for the husband. Earlier in August 2017, the Supreme court had declared the Islamic practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional 

Judges held that triple talaq was an evil and violated the woman’s right to equality. The government believes that triple talaq continues to be practiced despite the court’s order.  

The draft bill titled the ”Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage)” was drafted by an inter-ministerial group headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Among the others, who contributed to the bill were External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and his junior PP Chaudhary.  

The draft bill would only pertain to cases of instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-ibadat.’ It would empower the victim to approach a magistrate and seek ”subsistence allowance” for herself and her children. 

Sources: NDTV, The Times of India

Image Source: PTI

Talaq, Privacy and Dhongi Baba: Justice has been served

The Indian Judiciary has restored the country’s confidence by passing three milestone judgements.

Within the span of seven days, the judiciary delivered three notable decisions in three cases that held the nation’s attention. On August 22, 2017, the Supreme Court struck down the Instant Triple Talaq practice, on August 24, 2017, it announced that Right to Privacy IS a Fundamental Right. To top it all, the CBI court in Panchkula indicted self-styled God-man, Gurmeet Ram Rahim in for the rape of two girls.

The landmark judgement against Instant Talaq, was a much-awaited ruling in favour of Muslim women all across India. A special bench heard the case, comprising Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice RF Nariman, Justice UU Lalit, and Justice Abdul Nazeer, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar. This decision did ruffle a few patriarchal feathers, but gave women the rights they they are to enjoy under the constitution.

This was not the only Democratic decision passed by the SC. Despite the current Government’s clear-cut saying that ‘Citizens do not have absolute right over their bodies’, the Court ruled that Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right, thereby giving people of the country the right over their lives and bodies.

The case was heard by Chief Justice JS Khehar, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice SA Bobde, Justice RK Agrawal, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice S Abdul Nazeer.

 

This judgment was steps ahead of the previous verdicts announced in the cases of MP Sharma (1958) and Kharak Singh (1961). These cases were similar as they discussed in length that the Indian Constitution does not protect an individual’s right to privacy.

The Dera Sacha Sauda Chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of rape, despite the 20,000 protestors standing by him outside the court. The supporters of this ‘Baba’, set public and private property on fire, causing the deaths of 29 people and injuring over 250.

On August 28, 2017, Gurmeet Ram Rahim was sentenced to 20 years in prison, 10 years for each of the two rapes committed.

These judgments bring much-needed sense of hope and justice to India.

 

SC stays Triple Talaq, orders government to frame new law

The Supreme Court of India ruled against the controversial practice of instant ‘Triple Talaq’ among Muslims on August 22. A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar announced their judgement amidst heavy anticipation across the entire nation. The bench stayed the exercise of triple talaq for next six months during which, acting on its order, the Parliament will frame up a new law replacing this practice.

The ruling was delivered by an all-male bench consisting of judges of different faiths; three of the five judges ruled in favor of the abolishment of triple talaq, overruling even the Chief Justice. Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohington Nariman and UU Lalit, said “what is sinful under religion cannot be valid under law.” They asserted that “since triple talaq is instant, it is irrevocable and the marital tie gets broken, and hence, violates the right to equality.”

According to Quran, a waiting period is required before each pronouncement of divorce. However, it is now a common practice to make all three pronouncements in one sitting. This has led to numerous controversies over the years, with Muslim women being divorced and deserted by their husbands in an instant for varied reasons.

Shayara Bano, who was one of the many divorced women who had filed a petition against the 1400-year-old practice was delighted and felt liberated. “Finally, I feel free today,” she said to sources.

Sources: Reuters, India Today

Allahabad High Court deems triple talaq “unconstitutional”

Giving an opinion on the practice of triple talaq, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday said it was “cruel” and the “most demeaning form of divorce” according to Scroll.in

It also added to the above that the entire idea of the practice that allows Muslim men to separate from their wives, “impedes and drags india from becoming a nation”, calling it a “monstrosity.”

The single bench led by Justice Suneet Kumar added that “The divorce is permissible in Islam only in cases of extreme emergency.”

The court however did not pass a verdict since there was a case already taken up in the Supreme Court. Individuals as well as institutions have already moved courts across the country questioning the validity of triple talaq.

Earlier, the union government had informed the Supreme Court that there should be no reason why Indian women should be denied their Constitutional rights.

The government also argued that Islamic nations around the world had undergone reforms – practices like these were no longer the centre of the religion contrary to what traditionalists said. India, they continued was a secular state and there was no reason to deny women their rights.

SOURCES: Scroll.in, The Hindu

IMAGE SOURCE: AFP