The bill to ban instant Triple Talaq is likely to be taken up for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha today. The opposition is against the bill in its current form, contending that it would end up victimising Muslims.
The new law provides for a three-year jail term for Muslim men who get instant divorce by uttering “Talaq” thrice. The ruling BJP has issued a whip to its lawmakers, asking them to be present in the lower house for the voting, reports NDTV.
The bill seeks to make the practice of instant triple talaq – which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by uttering the word “talaq” thrice in spoken or written forms, or via electronic communication – a penal offence.
It prescribes a penalty of imprisonment up to three years for the offence, and provides for subsistence allowance to married Muslim women and their children, reported Scroll.in.
While the bill is expected to have a smooth passage through Lok Sabha, roadblocks are expected in the upper house. A chunk of parties, including Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSR Congress, will object to the bill in the Rajya Sabha. Even ally Nitish Kumar has said his Janata Dal-United will oppose it, NDTV reported.
Most opposition parties, including the Congress, were opposed to stringent provisions like jail term for the husband. They contended that a penal provision cannot be introduced in a domestic issue that’s essentially civil in nature and that the bill, in its current form, would end up victimising the Muslims, reported NDTV.
The parties want the bill to be sent to a parliamentary committee for further discussion. The BJP, which returned with a larger majority than in 2014 in the recently concluded national elections, has repeatedly underscored the need to pass the Triple Talaq bill, reported NDTV.
The government contends that the bill is vital for promoting gender equity. Central ministers have gone public saying it is tied to the Prime Minister’s new motto of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas”, NDTV reported.
Obstruction in the Rajya Sabha had stalled the bill earlier this year when it was presented in parliament during the first tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. The government rejected the demand and the bill had lapsed, NDTV reported.
“This time the government has “taken note of the objections that were earlier raised”. But the legislation, he indicated, has to be made as the matter is “about justice”, Prakash Javedkar said.
Today, 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 bill on Triple Talaq.