July 30 (UPI) -- Indian lawmakers Tuesday outlawed the Muslim practice of "triple talaq" divorce, but some questioned why the law was needed since the country's Supreme Court had already ruled it illegal.
Triple talaq allowed a Muslim man to instantly divorce his wife by simply saying the word "talaq" three times. Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated the law's passage on Twitter, saying that it was a boon for women's rights.
"An archaic and medieval practice has finally been confined to the dustbin of history," wrote Modi, who leads the majority Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party. "Parliament abolishes Triple Talaq and corrects a historical wrong done to Muslim women. This is a victory of gender justice and will further equality in society. India rejoices today."
Some in India's minority Muslim community, though, said the practice had already been banned in the courts and the law was only passed to single out Islam.
"(I) fail to understand the need to pass the triple talaq bill especially since the Supreme Court had already declared it illegal," said Mehbooba Mufti, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party leader said on social media.
"Undue interference seemingly to punish Muslims. Given the current state of the economy, should this really have been a priority?" Mufti added.
Another former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah criticized Mufti for her statement.
"Mehbooba Mufti, you might want to check how your members voted on this bill before tweeting," Abdullah said on Twitter. "I understand they abstained which helped the government with the numbers needed to pass the bill. You can't help the government and then fail to understand the need to pass."
Some parties that opposed the bill, like Janata Dal United and AIADMK, walked out during voting while the Telangana Rashtra Samithi abstained from voting.
Some who opposed the bill claimed that the three-year penalty for violating the law could be abused to target Muslims.