Monday, September 24, 2018
NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s government on Wednesday approved an ordinance to implement a top court ruling striking down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce.
The government decision came after it failed to get approval from Parliament a year after the court ruled that the practice of allowing men to divorce by simply uttering the Arabic word for divorce — “talaq” — three times violated the constitutional rights of Muslim women.
Most of the 170 million Muslims in India are Sunnis governed by the Muslim Personal Law for family matters and disputes. The laws include allowing the practice, known as “triple talaq,” whereby men can divorce by simply saying the word three times — and not necessarily consecutively, but at any time, and by any medium, including telephone, text message or social media post.
The government will have another six months to get Parliament’s approval for the ordinance to become law. But in the meantime, those who violate it can be prosecuted under the ordinance.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that nearly 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.
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