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PMK opposes Central ordinance on triple talaq
Opposition PMK on Thursday opposed the Central ordinance on triple talaq, saying it will "further complicate" the problems of Muslim women.
Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S Ramadoss said his party supported the ban on the practice of instant triple talaq but not making it a punishable offence.
The ordinance was cleared by the Union Cabinet Wednesday morning. President Ram Nath Kovind had signed the ordinance banning the practice of instant divorce and making it a punishable offence.
"Centre should have approved any ordinance on this matter only after arriving at a consensus by holding talks with Muslim groups. Rather, this unilateral ordinance will only further complicate the problems of Muslim women than solving them," he said in a statement.
PMK, which faced the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as a constituent of the NDA, said it supported the ban on triple talaq "but at the same time it should not be made a penal offence."
Laws governing the marriage of Muslim women should be framed to protect their dignity, honour and livelihood, he noted.
"To ensure that, this ordinance should be cancelled and a new draft should be formed after consultations with the Muslim Personal Law Board," Ramadoss added.
He opposed provisions like the accused unable to get a bail in police station, saying this would only create further rift among the couple in question than enable any kind of reconciliation.
Atleast 22 countries, including Pakistan, have banned triple talaq but none of them have made it a penal offence, he said, and sought to know the need to make it so in India.
Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad had said there was an "overpowering urgency" to bring the measure as instances of this mode of divorce continued unabated despite the Supreme Court striking it down.
Under the proposed ordinance, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.
Seeking to allay fears that the proposed law could be misused, the government has included certain safeguards in it.
While the proposed law makes instant triple talaq a "non-bailable" offence, an accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail.
In a non-bailable offence, bail cannot be granted by police at the police station itself.
The magistrate would ensure that bail is granted only after the husband agrees to grant compensation to the wife as provided in the bill.
The quantum of compensation will be decided by the magistrate, as per the bill.
The police would lodge an FIR only if approached by the victim (wife), her blood relations or people who become her relatives by virtue of her marriage.
Neighbours and others cannot lodge a complaint under the proposed law.