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Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said majority of Muslims were in the favour of banning the practice of triple talaq. "Triple talaq is un-Islamic and is a bad tradition. We want the empowerment of women. It (banning 'talaq-e-biddat') is not a Hindu or Muslim issue.
We cannot leave out Muslim women in empowerment programmes being undertaken by our government," the minister told reporters on the sidelines of a function here. In recently-concluded winter session of Parliament, Lok Sabha passed a landmark bill making talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq a "cognisable and non-bailable offence". The bill recommends maximum three-year imprisonment for any Muslim man who gives instant divorce to his wife by uttering the word talaq three times in quick succession. The bill also provides for subsistence allowance to Muslim women and custody of minor children as may be determined by the magistrate. Though the bill was tabled in Rajya Sabha, it could not be passed as the Parliament was adjourned till budget session. Opposition members in Upper House had demanded that the bill be referred to a select committee. Naqvi said majority of Islamic communities and groups have welcomed the Centre's move to criminalise tribal talaq. He said the Central government wanted to offer an "economical option" of travel to Indian Muslims as Haj subsidy was getting reduced. The minister said the government of Saudi Arabia accepted the Indian government's request of allowing Haj pilgrims to take the sea route to reach Jeddah.