The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a batch of petitions challenging the re-promulgation of an ordinance that makes the practice of instant triple talaq a penal offence, PTI reported. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019, was approved by President Ram Nath Kovind on February 21 after which the ordinance came into force for the third time in less than a year.

The government failed to pass the bill, known as the triple talaq bill, in the Rajya Sabha during the Budget session of Parliament in February.

“We cannot do much if a bill is not passed by the Rajya Sabha...,” the bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said. “Counsel for the petitioners seek leave of this court to withdraw the writ petitions. The writ petitions are dismissed as withdrawn.”

The Centre had first promulgated the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance in September 2018. A bill to replace it was passed in the Lok Sabha in December, but remained pending in the Rajya Sabha. The government promulgated the ordinance again after the Winter Session of Parliament, but could not pass the bill in the Rajya Sabha during the Budget session. The ordinance is set to lapse on June 3, when the current government’s term ends and before the next session of Parliament.

The Opposition has demanded that the bill be sent to a select joint parliamentary committee before being passed into law. The government, however, has rejected this demand. The Congress claimed that the government was using the bill as a tool to imprison Muslim men and to create an atmosphere of confrontation between Muslim men and women.