In what could be perceived as a big win for the Muslim women across the country, the Cabinet, on Wednesday, gave its nod to an ordinance on triple talaq or instant divorce.
The triple talaq bill pushed by the Government had met with a stiff resistance in the Rajya Sabha where it was opposed by several Opposition lawmakers.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that almost 22 countries, including neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned the practice and appealed to the opposition to approve the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill.
The Congress today accused the Modi government of treating the issue of instant triple talaq or instant divorce "more as a political football than a matter of justice to Muslim women".
The Supreme Court in August a year ago outlawed the practice that had allowed Muslim men to divorce their wives by simply saying the word "talaq", or "divorce" in Arabic, three times. After the Supreme Court quashed the practice, it has become a law.
But Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government wants to make it a non-bailable offence carrying a jail term of up to three years, following a wave of protests.
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"When triple talaq has been quashed, the next issue now is of providing justice to Muslim women".
The Hyderabad MP said the Supreme Court, in its verdict on triple talaq, had stated that if a man pronounces triple talaq, the marriage does not get dissolved.
He said: "It's my serious charge with full sense of responsibility that a distinguished woman leader is ultimate leader of the Congress, yet barbaric inhuman Triple Talaq was not allowed to be ended by a Parliamentary law for pure vote bank politics". "She is silent.it has nothing to do with politics but gender justice and dignity", he said. The following approval by the Cabinet comes at the time when the triple talaq bill still awaits an approval by the upper house of the Parliament.
He added: "As for other provisions are concerned, the mother/victim wife must get the custody of the minor child and the mother is entitled to a maintenance suitably determined by the magistrate for herself and the child". "Our issue is with the criminalisation aspect".
The Law Minister used the opportunity to attack the Congress, saying it is not supporting the bill pending in Rajya Sabha under "vote bank pressures". The Congress-led Opposition, however, had demanded that the Bill should be sent to the Select Committee for further scrutiny.