New Delhi: In a midnight development, President Ram Nath Kovind cleared the triple talaq ordinance making it a punishable offence.
According to a senior Law Ministry functionary said, the President signed the ordinance banning the practice of instant triple talaq on Wednesday night.
"Yes, the president has signed the ordinance," the functionary said, as reported by PTI.
Earlier in the day, the Union Cabinet approved the triple talaq ordinance in a landmark move.
The law makes instant triple talaq a "non-bailable" offence, explained Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad later.
“A bail will be granted by the magistrate upon reasonable grounds but only after hearing the victim wife also,'' he said.
A FIR in the case will only be registered if approached by the victim (wife) or her close relatives by blood or marriage. Neighbours and others cannot lodge a complaint under the proposed law.
The offence of instant triple talaq will be "compoundable". Now, a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute between a husband and his wife. This will happen only when the wife approaches the court. Under a compoundable offence, both parties have the liberty of withdrawing the case.
A woman can also seek the custody of her minor children and compensation from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue. The quantum of compensation will be decided by the magistrate, as per the bill.
Between January 2017 and September 13, 2018, 430 incidents of triple talaq have come to the fore, added Prasad.
Last year, the Supreme Court of India had declared instant triple talaq illegal and unconstitutional.
"What is important is that the practice of triple talaq continues in spite of Supreme Court having annulled it and Lok Sabha having passed a bill which is pending in the Rajya Sabha. We have all the evidence and a series of papers in this regard," Prasad told reporters.