The triple talaq ordinance, which seeks to make the practice of instant divorce a penal offence, will lapse later this month as a bill to convert it into a law is stuck in the Rajya Sabha.
Sources in the government said the ordinance is set to be reissued, but its timing is yet to be decided.
An ordinance has a life of six months. But from the day a session begins, it has to be replaced by a bill which should be passed by Parliament within 42 days (six weeks), else it lapses.
The government is at liberty to repromulgate the ordinance if the bill fails to get through Parliament.
The ordinance will lapse on January 22, the 42nd day after the Winter Session began on December 11 last year, the sources pointed out.
"The ordinance lapses just a week before the Budget Session commences on January 31...Government will push for the bill in the session. But whether the ordinance be repromulgated soon after it expires is yet to be decided. Another option would be to wait till the end of the Budget Session in mid February. If the bill is not passed, the ordinance could be reissued then," a senior functionary explained.
A fresh bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 17 last year to replace an ordinance issued in September.
The lower house later gave its nod to the bill. But it faced stiff opposition when it was tabled for consideration. It is now pending its approval.
Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) will be illegal and void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband. The fresh bill superseded an earlier bill passed in the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Rajya Sabha.
The earlier bill was approved by the lower house. But amid opposition by some parties in the upper house, the government had then cleared some amendments, including introduction of a provision of bail, to make it more acceptable.
However, as the bill continued to face resistance in the Rajya Sabha, the government issued an ordinance in September last year incorporating the amendments.