The Government of India has no plan to bring any legislation to ban triple talaq as the five-judge Supreme Court bench by a majority verdict has held instant divorce as unconstitutional and illegal, said a top government source.
In order to implement this order, there is no need to bring in a legislation for its implementation, the functionary added and pointed out that anyone holding on to the practice of instant talaq (divorce) could be prosecuted under domestic violence laws. Such a violator of the law could be jaiiled if a woman approached the police for harassment on these grounds and the SC order would act as a deterrent seems to be the view of the government in the wake of the verdict.
Minister of Law, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “India of 2017 is not the India of 1986-87, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership is not the same as that of Rajiv Gandhi,”. He said this while making a reference to the Shah Bano judgment of the Supreme Court which the then Rajiv Gandhi government, enjoying absolute majority in Parliament, overturned in 1986, diluting rights of Muslim women for maintenance on the grounds of triple talaq.
He also said, the government has strongly backed the judgement and would “consider the issue in a structured manner”. He said this was the beginning of the fight for equality for Muslim women. Prasad stated that the issue was not in regard to the religion and religious practices, it was of gender justice, gender equality and gender dignity. “It’s a great dawn for women’s empowerment.
The Law Minister further added, “It is for us to understand that 22 countries have regulated triple talaq, abolished it or laid down stringent preconditions for its exercise but India being a secular country it was insulated by this change,” .
Terming the Supreme Court judgment a great legal and moral victory for women in India, the minister said he had the support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wanted the government to stand up strongly in the courts on this matter. The Law Minister also made a mention of the judgment of Justice Kurian Joseph, stating what was held to be bad in the Quran could not be good in Shariat, adding that the government had stressed that several Muslim-majority nations had done away with or restricted triple talaq.