NEW DELHI: The Indian government yesterday issued an executive order making the Islamic practice of “instant divorce” a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison.
The controversial move brings an outright ban on “triple talaq” – when a Muslim man ends his marriage by saying “talaq” (“you are divorced” in Arabic) three times in succession – a step closer.
Muslim women say they have been divorced over messaging apps like WhatsApp or in letters, leaving them without any legal remedy.
India’s lower house, controlled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), passed legislation outlawing the practice in December.
But it got stuck in the upper house, prompting the government to issue yesterday’s executive order. It now needs only approval from the president to become law. “There was a constitutional urgency to bring this law. —Agencies