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The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019 was declared by the President of India. The ordinance has since been negated. Keep reading to learn more about what has replaced this important piece of law.

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On 21 February 2019, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019 was promulgated. Further, two such ordinances were already passed in September 2018  and January 2019 of the same year. This particular ordinance takes effect on September 19, 2018, the same day as the prior ordinance.

The Muslim Women Second Ordinance, 2019, declared triple talaq to be illegal and unconstitutional. Furthermore, this ordinance declared it a crime punishable by three years in prison and a fine. The ordinance protected the rights of married Muslim women and prevented triple talaq (i.e., talaq-e-biddat). It also provided compensation for subsistence and care of small children.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019 was repealed on 31 July 2019 when the bill was passed by both houses of the legislature, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, and was notified by the President of India in the official gazette, and thus became an Act of Parliament.

Salient Features of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019

On 21 June 2019, the Minister of Law and Justice, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad, introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha. It supersedes an Ordinance issued on February 21, 2019.

The Act declares all talaq declarations, whether written or electronic, void (i.e., not legally enforceable) and illegal. Talaq is defined as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar type of talaq declared by a Muslim male, resulting in an instant and irreversible divorce. Further, Talaq-e-biddat refers to the process under Muslim personal law in which a Muslim man pronounces the word ‘talaq’ three times in one sitting to his wife, resulting in an instant and irreversible divorce.

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  • Offence and punishment: The Act makes the assertion of talaq a cognizable offence (A cognizable offence is one for which police may capture a charged individual without a warrant) within the jurisdiction of a court, inviting as long as three years detainment with a fine. 
  • Additionally, the offence will be cognizable if information identifying with the offence is given by (I) the wife (against whom talaq has been pronounced), or (ii) any individual identified with her by blood or matrimony.
  • Only after hearing the woman (against whom talaq has been pronounced) and if the Magistrate is convinced that there are acceptable grounds for granting bail, may bail be granted. 
  • The offence may also potentially be compounded by the Magistrate at the woman’s request (against whom talaq has been declared). Compounding is the process through which two parties agree to end legal proceedings and settle their disagreement. The Magistrate will establish the terms and conditions of the compounding of the offence.
  • Alimony: A Muslim woman, against whom talaq has been announced, is qualified to seek subsistence alimony or maintenance sum from her significant other for herself and for her juvenile children. Likewise, the amount of the remittance will be dictated by the Magistrate.
  • Custody: A Muslim lady, against whom such talaq has been proclaimed, is qualified to request guardianship or custody of her minor kids. The manner of custody will be dictated by the Magistrate.

The Takeaway

Get in touch with the experts at Vakilsearch to learn more about the intricacies of women rights in Muslim Personal Laws. Contact us today!

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