The government has listed the contentious Triple Talaq Bill, which aims to curb the controversial Islamic practice of instant divorce, for consideration and passage in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. The ruling BJP, which is in a minority in the upper house, has issued a whip mandating the compulsory attendance of its lawmakers to ensure its passage, reported NDTV.
The bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha by a voice vote amidst a walkout by Congress, Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, DMK and others. The bill was passed by the 16th Lok Sabha but could not pass the Rajya Sabha hurdle, reported Indian Express.
The bill, which criminalises instant divorce by Muslim men and seeks jail term for the guilty, was the first draft legislation tabled by the Narendra Modi government in this first session after it took oath of office for a second term in May, PTI reported.
Several opposition parties have bitterly opposed it but the government has asserted that the bill is a step towards gender equality and justice. Parties like the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the DMK have demanded that it be sent to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny, Indian Express reported.
The government, however, claimed that the opposition was politicising the issue. “Don’t look at this issue through the political lens. This is an issue of justice and humanity… an issue of women rights and empowerment… we can’t abandon our Muslim sisters,” said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who introduced the bill.