A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna today declined to entertain two petitions challenging constitutional validity of ‘the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage), Second Ordinance, 2019’ (commonly known as Triple Talaq Ordinance).
“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 remarked, in response to the petitions filed by filed by one Reepak Kansal and the Muslim Advocates Association.
The petitions were dismissed by the Court as withdrawn.
The Ordinance, which makes the utterance of instant Triple Talaq illegal and void, attracts a three-year jail term for the husband.
Some key features of the Triple Talaq ordinance are:
- It is applicable in the whole of India, but it is not extended to the State of Jammu and Kashmir
- Any pronouncement of ‘talaq’ by a Muslim husband to his wife in any manner, spoken or written, shall be void and illegal.
- Any Muslim husband who communicates the ‘talaq’ orally or in writing may face a punishment of up to three years in jail. The punishment may be also extended.
- If a Muslim man pronounces ‘talaq’ to his wife, then the woman and her children are entitled to receive an allowance for subsistence. Such amount can be determined by a Judicial Magistrate of the First Class.
- A Muslim woman is entitled to the custody of her minor children even if her husband has pronounced ‘talaq’ to her.
- The offence is pronouncing instant triple talaq is cognisable if the Muslim woman on whom it is pronounced, communicates the information to a police officer.
- The offence is also compoundable, if the Muslim woman insists for the same and the Magistrates allows certain terms and conditions which he may determine.
- A person accused of this offence cannot be granted bail unless an application is filed by the accused after a hearing in the presence of the Muslim woman (on whom talaq is pronounced) is conducted and the Magistrate is satisfied about the reasonable grounds for granting bail.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the proposal for the Triple Talaq Ordinance on February 19, 2019
The Triple Talaq Ordinance was first promulgated by the President on September 18, 2018. It was re-promulgated on January 12, 2019 and again for the third time on February 12, 2019, when it was challenged by the petitioners.
Read the Order.