Union Law Minister Ravi Shakar Prasad on Thursday moved the controversial Triple Talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha, saying the law was a must for gender equality and justice, adding some were still practising it despite Supreme Court striking it down in 2017.
Since January 2017, the minister said, 574 cases of triple talaq had been reported by the media.
Three ordinances have so far been promulgated as a similar bill moved by the previous government could not get the parliamentary nod.
A fresh bill was introduced by the new government in June during the ongoing Parliament session.
However, the bill continues to be a subject of disagreement between the government and the Opposition, with NK Premachandran, the Revolutionary Socialist Party MP from Kerala, saying the bill was discriminatory against the Muslim community.
"Why are you not enforcing imprisonment for divorce in the Hindu and Christian communities? Why alone in the Muslim community?" he asked.
Under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, divorcing through instant triple talaq will be illegal, void and would attract a jail term of three years for the husband.
Prasad said to allay fears that the proposed law could be misused, the government has included certain safeguards in it such as adding a provision of bail for the accused before trial.
While the bill makes triple talaq a "non-bailable" offence, an accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail.
In a non-bailable offence, bail cannot be granted by police at the police station itself.
A provision has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail "after hearing the wife", the minister said.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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