The government on Saturday promulgated a fresh ordinance to make the practice of instant triple talaq a penal offence after its legislation failed to get the Parliament’s approval during the Winter Session. Muslim men use the practice to divorce their wives by uttering talaq three times in spoken or written forms.

The Centre had promulgated the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance in September 2018. A bill to replace it was passed in the Lok Sabha last month, but remained pending in the Rajya Sabha. The government has promulgated the ordinance again after the Winter Session of Parliament ended on Wednesday.

The Opposition had demanded that the legislation undergo scrutiny of a parliamentary committee. The Congress and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham members had walked out in protest during the voting in the Lok Sabha. The government lacks a majority in the Rajya Sabha.

An ordinance lapses if the Parliament does not pass a law to replace it within six weeks of reassembling.