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Modi Govt pushes Executive Order to ban Triple Talaq: Slams Congress

9/19/2018

New Delhi, The Union cabinet on Wednesday passed the Ordinance making Triple Talaq a punishable offence and the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the executive order route has been taken due to "constitutional urgency". "My special appeal to Sonia Gandhi....to appreciate that this Bill is pro-women. Similarly, my appeal is to Mayawati (chief of BSP) and also Mamata Banerjee (of Trinamool)," Mr Prasad told reporters here. "We tried to take Congress along while piloting this Bill....Myself and Paliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar tried meeting and taking views of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad five times," he said and lamented that despite being led by a woman like Sonia Gandhi - the Congress party did not back government initiatives to crush such a "damankari (atrocious)" system against women. "Triple Talaq continued unabated despite the Supreme Court orders....We have statistics. As many as 430 Triple Talaqs took place between January 2017 to September 2018. 229 such cases came up before the Supreme Court order....after the Supreme Court order, there came 201," Mr Prasad said. He also said maximum Triple Talaq cases have been happening in country's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh. "In UP, after the judgement there were 120 cases. These are the cases, we could collect through media reports and other channels....There are many unreported too," he said. "Therefore, there was a compelling necessity to come with an Ordinance. There was an overpowering urgency," Mr Prasad said adding the Triple Talaq has nothing to do with religion or with issues related to 'ibadat (prayers)'; "it is purely about justice for women and an issue related to pride of women". "In some cases, Triple Talaq has been given just because the Roti was not up to the mark....or the wife got up late in the morning," the Law Minister said. The government move seeks to score a major political victory and rendering the helping hand to Muslim women especially in the run up to the assembly elections in five states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana (where there are substantial Muslim voters) and also in Mizoram and Chhattisgarh. "Big Day for for Muslim women. Ordinance on Triple Talaq approved by the Modi Govt," tweeted BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga. The bill was stuck in the Rajya Sabha and the clearance by the Union Cabinet takes the draft legislation now become a law after the Presidential orders.The bill to criminalise Talaq-e-biddat (instant talaq) was stuck in the Upper House with the opposition parties raising objections criminal provisions. The Bill was passed in December 2017 in the Lok Sabha. The Supreme Court in its order in August 2017 had declared instant Talaq illegal but directed the government to make a law. "The two judges of the Supreme Court had called Triple Talaq practice as arbitrary....one judge called it a sin," Mr Prasad said adding in some cases instant divorce has been given even on whatsapp messages. The ordinance route adopted by the cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes as a huge move after two sessions of Parliament could not help pass the Triple Talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha, a BJP source said here. "We tried everything to accommodate opposition views in an effort to build consensus," the BJP leader said.

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