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Published On: Thu, Jul 25th, 2019

Triple Talaq Bill passed in Lok Sabha amid Opposition walkout

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muslimNEW DELHI : To Ban Instant “Triple Talaq” Passed In Lok SabhaNEW DELHI : The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the contentious Triple Talaq Bill, which makes the practice illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband.
The contentious bill that would criminalise instant triple talaq was passed by the Lok Sabha today after a day-long heated battle that also witnessed a walkout by BJP ally Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United.
The situation for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is not easy in the Rajya Sabha where opposition parties have a numerical advantage over the government. Interestingly, some of the BJP’s allies, including Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), are also unlikely to support the bill.
The JDU, which has maintained it was against the bill, today said such a law would create a “lack of trust in the society”. Two other opposition parties – the Congress and the Trinamool Congress – walked out after the vote. The bill was passed by a division of 302 votes in favour and 78 against.
Moving the bill for consideration, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasadsaid the legislation was a must for gender equality and justice as despite an August 2017 Supreme Court verdict striking down the practice of instant triple talaq, women are being divorced by ‘talaq-e-biddat’.
He said, since January 2017, 574 such cases have been reported by the media. Three ordinances have so been promulgated as a similar bill moved by the previous government could not get parliamentary nod. A fresh bill was introduced by the new government in June during the ongoing Parliament session.
Under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, divorcing through instant triple talaq will be illegal, void and would attract a jail term of three years for the husband.

The bill now faces the Rajya Sabha test. Most of the fence-sitters who sided with the government today in the Rajya Sabha over amendments to the landmark Right to Information Act, have said they oppose the bill on Triple Talaq.
Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSR Congress earlier declared that they would object to the bill in the Rajya Sabha. The new law provides for a jail term for Muslim men who can get an instant divorce by uttering “Talaq” thrice, which the opposition say is unacceptable and want the bill to be referred to a select parliamentary committee for further scrutiny.

“Why didn’t you take action against your MP? You want justice for Mulsim women but why didn’t you take any action against your own leader [MJ Akbar],” Owaisi says. Owaisi also rakes up the Sabarimala issue: “If you want justice for women, I would request you to take all your women leaders in a chopper to Sabarimala.”

The MPs from Congress, SP, BSP, DMK, TMC and BJP ally JD(U) staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha in protest against the Bill. It may be recalled that this bill was the first draft legislation tabled by the Narendra Modi government in its first session after it came to power in May for the second term.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “I am not the law minister of the Rajiv Gandhi government. There is vote bank politics behind the opposition to the Bill. From 2017, 547 cases of triple talaq have come forward, including 345 cases, since the law was passed by the Supreme Court. 21 Islamic countries have this law. The Bill has nothing to do with any caste or religion.”
Several opposition parties had strongly opposed the bill, but the BJP-led government at the Centre has repeatedly maintained that the bill must be passed because it is aimed at ensuring gender equality and justice.
The opposition parties have repeatedly questioned the government’s motive in rushing the bill. Today K Suresh, the Chief Whip of Congress in Lok Sabha, alleged that the government had kept the bill’s introduction “a secret”.
The government said the opposition was politicizing the issue. “Don’t look at this issue through political lenses. This is an issue of justice and humanity… an issue of women rights and empowerment… we can’t abandon our Muslim sisters,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
On Wednesday, the opposition, at a meeting chaired by Congress’s Sonia Gandhi, decided to hold a planned boycott of the ongoing parliament session over the government’s refusal to send some controversial bills for further scrutiny. The list is headed by the Triple Talaq bill.(With Agency Inputs ).

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