Indian bill aims to jail Muslim men who instantly divorce wives

This article is more than 12 months old

NEW DELHI The Indian government yesterday introduced a bill aimed at prosecuting Muslim men who divorce their wives through "triple talaq", or instant divorce, which women say violates their right to equality.

In August, the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional the law, which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by uttering the word "talaq" three times.

Muslim women had petitioned the court, arguing that the practice of husbands divorcing them through "triple talaq", including by Skype and WhatsApp, also left many women destitute.

"Only a law can explicitly ban 'triple talaq', we have to enforce legal procedures to provide allowance and protect custody of children," said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The bill, if approved, would make the practice a non-bailable offence with a possible three-year jail term.

But some said the government had no right to outlaw "triple talaq", as it was directly interfering with the Muslim personal law. - REUTERS