All about Muslim Women (Protection of Marriage) Act, 2019

The FAQs have been prepared by Tanya Sharma, a 4th-year BA LLB student at Army Institute of Law, Mohali. She is currently interning with

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by Mr. Ravi Prasad, Minister of Law and Justice on June 21, 2019. It replaces an Ordinance promulgated on February 21, 2019. After Shayara Bano case the Government of India brought legislation named the Muslim Women (Protection on rights of marriage) criminalizing the Triple Talaq which received the President’s assent on 31st July 2019.

  1. How this legislation came into existence and when?

Shayara Banu case brought into light the atrocities suffered by Muslim women in the form of Triple Talaq for decades, which was already banned in majority of the nations worldwide. To end this cruelty to women in marriage the Parliament brought legislation known as “The Muslim Women (Protection of rights on marriage), 2017” and it came into force on 31st July 2019 which shall have effect from the 19th day of September 2018.

  1. What were the rights infringed in the Shayara bano case?

There were various fundamental rights that were infringed which include Article 14 (Equality before law), Article 15(1) (Prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of gender), Article 21(Right to life), Article 25 (freedom of religion).

  1. What is the meaning of “Talaq” under the Muslim Women (Protection of rights on marriage) Act, 2019?

“Talaq” also known as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim Husband.

  1. What is Talaq-e-biddat?

Talaq-e-biddat refers to the practice under Muslim Personal laws where pronouncement of word “talaq” thrice in one sitting by a Muslim man to his wife results in an instant irrevocable divorce.

  1. Which section makes Talaq to be illegal and void?

Section 3 says that any pronouncement of talaq by a Muslim husband upon his wife, by words, which can be either spoken or written or it can be in electronic form or in any other manner which shall stand to be void and illegal.

  1. What punishment is prescribed under this Act for pronouncing Talaq?

As stated under Section 4 any Muslim husband who pronounces Talaq upon his wife as referred under Section 3 upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall be liable to fine.

  1. Are the Muslim women entitled to allowance by her husband after talaq?

Section 5 states that Muslim women against whom such talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek subsistence allowance from her husband for herself and for her dependent children. The amount for allowance will be determined by the magistrate.

  1. Are the Muslim women entitled to seek custody of minor children?

Under Section 6, a Muslim woman against whom talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek custody of her minor children and the manner of custody will be determined by the magistrate.

  1. What makes this offence punishable and cognizable under this legislation?

The offence will be cognizable, if the information relating to the offence is given by:-

  1. The married women (against whom talaq has been declared), or
  2. Any person related to her by blood or marriage.
  3. What is the process of obtaining bail by accused under this offence?

Under Section 7 sub clause (c), the Act provides that the magistrate may grant bail to the accused. The bail may be granted only after hearing the women against whom talaq has been pronounced, and if the magistrate is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail.

  1. What is the punishment prescribed under the Act for the Muslim husband if Talaq is pronounced on Muslim women?

Section 4 defines that violation of Section 3 by the Muslim husband will subject him to the punishment which will be in the form of imprisonment for a term of 3 years along with the imposition of fine.

  1. Remedy available to the Muslim husband under the Act?

Section 7 of the Act under which Clause (b) states that the offense as per this Act shall be compoundable which means that the victim or complainant can go for a compromise and at the instance of the complainant or married Muslim woman, the charges framed against the accused will be dropped but with the prior permission of the Magistrate which will include certain terms and conditions.

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