The Indian parliament has approved a bill that bans the secular right of a Muslim man to divorce his wife immediately, raising allegations of government interference in a community issue.
Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist administration has pushed to criminalize the "triple talaq", according to which a man can divorce by pronouncing the word "talaq", which means divorce in Arabic, three times in the presence of his wife.
After the vote in the upper house on Tuesday, now only the president's signature is required – considered a formality – to become law.
The lower house supported the bill, which will make anyone who practiced the immediate divorce subject to legal action last week. India is one of the few countries where the practice has survived the law. It was declared "unconstitutional" by the Supreme Court two years ago.
"This is a historic day, the injustice that was happening with Muslim women, the Indian parliament gave them justice," said law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Delhi.
Some Indian Muslim groups have claimed that triple talaq is wrong, but they believe the practice should be reviewed by community leaders rather than by the government.
Asaduddin Owaisi, MP of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen opposition, said the BJP failed to reform Hindu society and was instead targeting Muslims.
Critics have long accused the BJP of prejudice against minority Muslims. The BJP denies the accusation but states that it opposes the pacification of any community.