The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018: – The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 has passed in Lok Sabha on December 27, 2018. Now it will be present in the Rajya Sabha, if the Rajya Sabha passed it and after the sign President it will be replace the Ordinance which was passed on September 19, 2018. Note that a Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was introduced and passed in Lok Sabha on December 28, 2017. The 2017 Bill is listed for withdrawal.
What is in the bill?
The Bill makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be void (i.e. not enforceable in law) and illegal. It defines talaq as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq pronounced by a Muslim man resulting in instant and irrevocable divorce. Talaq-e-biddat refers to the practice under Muslim personal laws where pronouncement of the word ‘talaq thrice in one sitting by a Muslim man to his wife results in an instant and irrevocable divorce.
Offence and penalty in the Bill: –
The Bill makes declaration of talaq a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years imprisonment with a fine. (A cognizable offence is one for which a police officer may arrest an accused person without warrant.) The offence will be cognizable only if information relating to the offence is given by:
(i) the married woman (against whom talaq has been declared), or
(ii) any person related to her by blood or marriage.
Allowance in the Bill for women: –
A Muslim woman, against whom talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek subsistence allowance from her husband for herself and for her dependent children. The amount of the allowance will be determined by the Magistrate.
A Muslim woman, against whom such talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek custody of her minor children. The manner of custody will be determined by the Magistrate.
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