On July 31, 2019, Government of India published the concerned Act in its official gazette. Article 4 in the Act has penal provisions which turns the act of declaring instantaneous unilateral divorce by a Muslim man to his Muslim wife a criminal offence.
Now, inter alia one problem I see with this Act is with Article 1(3) which states:
(3) It shall be deemed to have come into force on the 19th day of September, 2018.
That clause turns this law into an ex post facto criminal law. As I understand, Article 20(1) of the Constitution of India prohibits the governments in India from enacting an ex post facto criminal law. Here's what the relevant clause states:
(1) No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the Act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.
So, is the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 (aka Triple Talaq law) violative of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution?
It is to be noted that the Act came into existence to prevent the violation of Article 14 and 21 (fundamental rights) guaranteed by the same constitution.
Backstory: the Bill for the law was first introduced in the winter session (2018) of the Parliament of India in the wake of the Indian Supreme Court's judgement (August 2018) which declared such instantaneous divorces unconstitutional and asked the Government of India to frame a law to protect the rights of the concerned women.
The Bill lapsed automatically following the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha (2014-19). Following the constitution of 17th Lok Sabha in mid 2019, an amended Bill was tabled in the Parliament and was passed by both of its Houses, and received the assent of the President by the end of July.