Oppn sees prospect of sending triple talaq bill to panel as differences appear in govt
Opposition sources said many BJP allies may shift sides and demand scrutiny of the triple talaq by a select committee of Parliament.india Updated: Jan 05, 2018 19:22 IST
As a rift appears in the ruling camp over the bill to criminalise instant triple talaq, the opposition looks at a brightened prospect of sending the legislation to a select committee.
Sources, however, added that if the government finally agrees to form a select panel, it will bring its own motion rather than supporting that given by Congress’ Anand Sharma or by the Trinamool Congress.
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also indulged in a slugfest over the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill to ban instant triple talaq, which was tabled in the Rajya Sabha. While the government wanted a debate on the bill, the opposition wanted it to be sent to a select committee for scrutiny.
Unlike a standing committee which exists throughout the year, a select panel is formed for scrutiny of a specific subject or bill.
The opposition’s demand for sending the bill for a parliamentary scrutiny led to disruptions in the House and eventually, the bill could not be passed.
The shift of the Telugu Desam Party, a key ally of the BJP, was an embarrassment to the ruling party. Opposition sources claimed other Bharatiya Janata Party allies may also shift side and demand the bill’s scrutiny by a select panel.
The BJP, however, accused the opposition of delaying the passage of the bill by trying to send it to the select panel.
The government has again listed the triple talaq bill for passage on Thursday in the Rajya Sabha.
Both the Houses of Parliament saw continuous disruptions on Wednesday over the caste riots in Maharashtra. Opposition members created ruckus both in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, forcing repeated adjournments.
The bill criminalises instant triple talaq and imposes a prison term of up to three years and fine on husbands who violate the law. It also aims to provide alimony for the woman on whom instant triple talaq has been pronounced and grant her the custody of her children.
The move against triple talaq follows numerous complaints by Muslim women, who were divorced through the customary practice and denied alimony and other rights.
Talaq-e-biddat is banned in 22 Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan and ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia. Muslim men in India can still divorce using two other forms of talaq that have a three-month cooling off period.
The proposed law would be applicable only to instant triple talaq and it would empower Muslim women to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and her minor children.
The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate.