On 1 August, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Triple Talaq Bill, which criminalises instant triple talaq with provisions of a jail term of up to three years. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, commonly referred to as the Triple Talaq Law, is effective retrospectively, from September 19, 2018. The Ministry of Law and Justice notified it in the gazette of India on January 31 so that the law comes into force with immediate effect.
After getting through the Lok Sabha, where the ruling NDA commands a brute majority, the bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 30 July, with 99 votes in favour and 84 against the bill. With a total strength of 240, the opposition, which still commands majority in the house of elders, failed to defeat the bill as 57 members stayed away.
Earlier, the Supreme Court of India, in Shayara Bano v. Union of India and others, had set aside the practice of talaq-e-biddat, which allowed Muslim men to divorce their wives instantaneously and irrevocably by pronouncing the word talaq (the Arabic word for divorce) thrice at the same time, on the basis that it violated the Constitution of India. The pronouncement could be oral, written, or, as in recent times, delivered by electronic means.