Muslim women celebrating the introduction of triple 'talaq' bill in the Lok Sabha in Lucknow on Thursday.(PTI Photo)
Muslim women celebrating the introduction of triple 'talaq' bill in the Lok Sabha in Lucknow on Thursday.(PTI Photo)

Highlights: Lok Sabha passes bill criminalising triple talaq, BJP says it’s a historic day

The Lok Sabha passed the triple talaq bill introduced by law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday. Here are the highlights.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON DEC 28, 2017 08:50 PM IST

The Lok Sabha passed on Thursday the contentious bill making instant triple illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband, a development hailed by the government as “historic”.

The bill was passed after the House rejected a string of amendments moved by various opposition members.

MPs from the RJD, AIMIM, BJD, AIADMK and All India Muslim League opposed the bill, calling it arbitrary in nature and a faulty proposal.

Here are the highlights:

8.29 pm:

8.22pm: Sushmita Devi of Congress says, “The Supreme Court banned triple talaq because it believed that a couple should get time for reconciliation. With this bill, the offence will be now a non-bailable offence. There’ll be no chance of reconciliation. I moved an amendment over compensation for Muslim women from government, it was negated.”

“I do not know why this government was in a hurry to pass the bill,” she says.

8.04pm: “It is a historic day, we are confident that it will be passed in Rajya Sabha as well,” says home minister Rajnath Singh.

8.02pm: “The triple talaq bill will not give justice to Muslim women but will lead to more injustice,” says Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM.

7.45pm:

7.35pm: House is adjourned till 11am on December 29.

7.32pm: Lok Sabha passes the triple talaq bill.

7.31pm: Amendments moved by Asaduddin Owaisi, NK Premachandran, Mahtab, Sushmita Dev, A Sampath, and Adhirranjan Chowdhury respectively are defeated.

7.14pm: House begins voting on the bill.

7.13pm: Kharge protests the minister’s statement and says the Congress has moved amendments.

7.12pm: Prasad says if a man is giving divorce even when it is declared illegal, he should pay maintenance and give custody of minor children even if he is in jail.

He asks why the Congress is not proposing any amendments.

Prasad says there is no question of Uniform Civil Code. The bill has nothing to do with it and only concerns triple talaq, he says.

7.05pm: Responding to criticism of quantum of fine and punishment, Prasad says this will be decided by courts even if the law doesn’t mention it. Maintenance will be decided by the court based on economic status of the accused.

7.00pm: Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad responds. The minister says the Muslim Personal law said they will reform but did not. Therefore, the Parliament is taking action.

Prasad says a group of ministers was formed to work on the bill. He said that though the offence is being made non-bailable, one can still apply for bail from magistrate.

6.55pm: Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge asks why the bill can’t be sent to the standing committee when all the parties have demanded it.

BJP’s Ananth Kumar says the bill should be passed since a full-fledged debate has taken place.

6.49pm: AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi says the bill fails to differentiate between a civil law and a criminal law.

“You are taking away all my personal laws guaranteed by the Constitution,” he says.

“Of all the Muslim countries the law minister has named, including Pakistan, none of them have a penal provision for triple talaq. Show me one Muslim country with such a law?” Owaisi asks.

“We are being demonised. If there is empirical data, let us place it on record. This government has a vested interest in bringing this bill,” he says.

Owaisi says 80% of dowry cases involve non-Muslims and a large number number of non-Muslim brides have child marriages. He asks why the government is not doing anything about that.

Owaisi says the government is not empowering Muslim women, but handing a tool for Muslim men to be more cruel towards women. “This is an attempt to put more Muslim men behind jail!” he says.

He asks for the bill to be sent to the standing committee and for the creation of a corpus of Rs one crore to provide maintenance to the divorced women.

6.40pm: RSP’s NK Premachandram says there is a cloud of suspicion in the Indian Muslim community that the government is moving towards bringing in the Uniform Civil Code. He asks the government to remove this suspicion.

“Supreme Court’s verdict makes it law of the land, what is the need for the legislation?” he asks.

He also says none of the Muslim organisations have been consulted on the bill.

6.33pm: INLD’s Dushyant Chautala says the bill does not mention how and where the people involved can talk of reconciliation.

He says the House should not pass a bill which will need to amended later.

6.26pm: IUML’s ET Mohammed Basheer says clause 3 of the bills mentions all kinds of talaq and creates ambiguity.

6.22pm: AIUDF’s Radheshyam Biswas opposes the way in which the government has introduced the bill. The government is trying to pass a law which is full of contradictions and faults, he says.

6.08pm: SP’s Dharmendra Yadav asks how can man serving a 3-year jail term under this bill can pay maintenance to his divorced wife.

He calls the criminal aspect of the bill a violation of human rights. “Bring the bill in a form in which all of us can support and pass it,” he tells the government.

6.00pm: Congress MP MI Shanavas says an atmosphere is being created that the Muslim community is against reforms and the Supreme Court judgement.

He says the bill should have been sent to the standing committee and debated there. He asks the government to desist from going forward with the legislation.

“The criminalisation aspect of the bill is irrational. The bill transgresses the legislative framework,” he says.

Shanavas calls it a psychological war on a section of society.

5.45pm: MoS (External Affairs) MJ Akbar says the various views on criminalisation can be discussed.

He asks, “What is the credibility of All India Muslim Personal Law Board? Who chose them to be community representatives?”

“This slogan ‘Islam khatre mein hai’ was used before independence to divide India and is now being used to divide society, poison is being spread,” he says.

5.30pm: NCP MP Supriya Sule says the House supports the government against instant triple talaq. She raises the issue of marital rape and asks for the government’s stand on it. “Why don’t you go a step further and make a law to criminalise marital rape too?” she asks.

Sule says social changes don’t happen with just legislation and says media, reformers, politicians and counsellors have to work together for it.

She says the Supreme Court said the dowry law was being misused. “There should not be instant arrest. Can we be confident that same will not be done in triple talaq cases?” she asks.

“Criminalising triple talaq will create a hostile environment for a woman. There is no scope for reconciliation once the husband is sent to jail,” Sule says.

5.12pm: Sampath asks why there is no mention of the maximum quantum of fine in the bill. “If there were consultations with women’s organisations, this would have been a better bill,” he says.

Sampath asks for bill to be sent to the standing committee.

5.08pm: CPI-M MP A Sampath calls the bill a “trangression on civil rights”. He objects to the way the bill was bulldozed without sufficient time for MPs to bring forward their objections. He asks why the government is in such a hurry.

5.01pm: Shiv Sena’s Arvind Ganpat Sawant says it is only instant talaq that is being criminalised. Other forms obtaining divorce will be available to Muslims. Sawant also bats for Uniform Civil Code.

4.53pm: TDP MP Ravindra Babu extends his party’s fervent support to the bill.

4.48pm: BJD MP Tathagata Satpathy says his party supports the bill, but not the way it will be implemented. “This is a rare socially relevant bill which this government has brought in.”

Satpathy says that if criminality is brought into the civil aspect of this law, the situation will go beyond the powers of the government machinery.

He says laws should be the same for everybody, no matter what religion you are. “The law should not be made in such a manner that it can be perverted at the implementation level,” says Satpathy.

4.35pm: AIADMK MP Anwar Raja says nowhere did the Supreme Court verdict says triple talaq is to be punished criminally. The court only said a bill can be brought in.

Raja says, “BJP is implementing its right and regressive ideology. You want to abolish the identity of Muslims in India.”

Raja asks that a one-time settlement be given to the divorced wife, as in Shariat Law. He also demands the bill be sent to parliamentary committee.

4.20pm: Lekhi says all states have been consulted on this bill. She says that the states that have a problem with the bill should write to the Centre saying they have a problem with this law for women and that they do not accept the Supreme Court’s verdict.

“I want to tell Muslim women, when you have a brother like Narendra Modi, you don’t need to be afraid. We stand with you in this fight,” she says.

4.00pm:

3.50pm: BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi says there should be legal action against the Mullahs and Maulavis who oppose triple talaq as it was done when Sati was abolished. “Codify Muslim Law so there is no confusion on what is right or wrong,” she says.

Lekhi says the laws of the Hindus and the Christians have been modified such that customary practices do not interfere with the rights of women. “Women are the biggest minority in this country,” Lekhi says.

3.47pm: Dev asks if the government will create a corpus to provide maintenance to divorced women waiting for compensation?

3.45pm: Silchar MP Sushmita Dev says the bill criminalises triple talaq and makes it a bailable offence. The bill also says that maintenance will be given to these women. “If the husband goes to jail, who will give the maintenance?” she asks.

She also asks that if this is a major reform for women empowerment, when the Women’s Reservation Bill will be brought in. Dev says that if there were more women in the Parliament now, this bill would not see the light of day.

3.25pm: Law minister says he is grateful that Congress leader Kharge has declared they are with us, but can’t understand why they want the law be referred to a standing committee. Whatever suggestions they have they should tell us here, if fine we can incorporate them in the law, he says.

3.23pm: Everybody wants to support women empowerment but there are some lacunae, which can be settled sitting together. So, we demand the bill be referred to a standing committee, Kharge says.

3.22pm: We are with you (government) with the triple talaq bill, but there are certain flaws in the law, says leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

3.20pm: Lok Sabha is the country’s biggest panchayat. I appeal that leaders should pass the bill unanimously rising above party lines and vote bank politics, Ravi Shankar Prasad says.

3.18pm: It’s been 70 years since Independence and people are talking of constitutional nationalism. The same Constitution also gives rights to women, says the minister.

3.17pm: The bill proposes that a Muslim will go to jail if he says triple talaq to wife. It’s about gender equality.

3.15pm: Muslim-majority countries have regulated triple talaq in one go, why can’t we a secular nation do it? We are not interfering in Shariat, Prasad says.

3.12pm: About 100 cases of triple talaq have come to light after Supreme Court’s verdict, the minister says.

3.10pm: We must understand pain of Muslim women. Today morning I read news that a woman in Rampur was given talaq by her husband just because she woke up late, says the law minister.

3.07pm: We had hopes that the perception on triple talaq would change following Supreme Court ruling, says law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. What is bad in theology is bad in law as well, he says.

3.01pm: Discussion on triple talaq bill begins in Lok Sabha.

2.45pm: The current government is attempting to regularize illegal colonies in Delhi, says housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

2.12pm: Bill on National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special provisions) Second Amendment Bill 2017 has been tabled in Rajya Sabha. Lok Sabha had passed the bill on Wednesday.

1.01pm: It takes time to set up separate high courts after bifurcation of states. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana need to sort out the issue with mutual consent, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

12.56pm: During Question Hour, Ajay Kumar Mishra of the BJP demands use of Hindi and regional languages in courts.

12.47pm: A bill seeking to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) introduced in the Lok Sabha. The proposed bill will plug potential loopholes and prohibit “certain persons” such as wilful defaulters, from submitting resolution plans to let them take charge of the company.

12.46pm: This law is for women’s rights and justice and not regarding any prayer, ritual or religion, says law minister Ravi Sankar Prasad.

12.44pm: We are creating history today, Ravi Shankar Prasad.

12.38pm: The proposed bill is flawed, there are many internal contradictions in the bill and should be sent for reconsideration, says Bhartruhari Mahtab of the Biju Janata Dal.

12.36pm: This triple talaq bill, if passed, will be injustice to Muslim women, says Asaduddin Owaisi of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. This bill violates fundamental rights and lacks legal coherence, he says.

12.34pm: Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tables triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha.

12.15pm: The meeting was started in absence of the deputy high commissioner. If he would have seen how clothes of the family members were changed, he would have registered protest there and then, says minister Swaraj in Lok Sabha.

12.14pm: “Thank God they didn’t say that there was a bomb in her (Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife) shoes. If for security reasons she was made to take off shoes, they should have returned them when she was leaving but no, they had to commit some sort of cruelty”

12.13pm: It was specifically agreed upon by both sides that media will not be allowed to come close to the family but Pakistani press not only came close to them but also harassed them and hurled taunts at them, Sushma Swaraj says in Lok Sabha.

12.11pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2pm.

12.07pm: Sushma Swaraj makes a statement on Kulbhushan Jadhav in Lok Sabha.

11.47am: Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu adjourns the House till 12noon as opposition members demand dismissal of Union minister Hegde.

11.40am: On privatisation of Air India, Union civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju says in Lok Sabha that the government doesn’t want Air India to face the same fate as Kingfisher Airlines.

11.31am: I agree with the Sushma Swaraj’s statement that the meeting could have been a step forward, it’s a departure from the agreement made with Pakistan, says D Raja of the CPI(M) .

11.26am: Political parties endorse Sushma Swaraj’s statement on Kulbhushan Jadhav.

11.25am: Misbehaviour of Pakistan with wife and mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav was misbehaviour with all Indians. Regardless of political differences, when it comes to nation’s dignity and another country misbehaves with our mothers and sisters, it will not be tolerated, says Azad in Rajya Sabha.

11.23am: The Congress associates with Sushma’s statement, says leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad.

11.21am: The meeting was neither a humanitarian gesture nor compassion. Human rights of the family members were violated again and again and an environment of fear was created for them, the minister says in Rajya Sabha.

11.20am: It seemed Jadhav was speaking under pressure, Swaraj says. Jadhav’s mother wanted to talk to him in Marathi but Pakistan didn’t allow it. Pakistan even blocked intercom.

11.19am: Swaraj says she spoke to Jadhav’s mother and she told her that as soon as she reached Kulbhushan asked her ‘Baba kaise hain?’ because he thought a mishap has taken place when he wasn’t around.

11.18am: Not just his wife but bindi and mangalsutra of his mother were also removed. The married women were made to like widows, says Sushma Swaraj.

11.15am: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj makes a statement on Kulbhushan Jadhav row in Rajya Sabha, says Pakistan used this meet as a propaganda.

11.04am: Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge objected to Ananth Kumar Hegde’s clarification, following which Hegde said, ‘If anyone was hurt by my statements I tender an apology.’

11.02am: Amid opposition uproar, Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde speaks in Lok Sabha, says “I deeply respect the Constitution, the Parliament and Baba Saheb Ambedkar. The Constitution is supreme for me, there can be no question on it, as a citizen I can never go against it.”

10.59am: Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde clarifies on his earlier statement: “Regarding the deadlock in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha due to my statement, I want to assure my friends that Constitution is supreme to me, Parliament is supreme to me.”

10.55am: Congress president Rahul Gandhi says at the party’s foundation day that the Indian Constitution is under attack.

Congress leaders stage a protest in front of Gandhi statue in Parliament against Union minister Anant Kumar Hegde’s statement over Indian Constitution and seculars.
Congress leaders stage a protest in front of Gandhi statue in Parliament against Union minister Anant Kumar Hegde’s statement over Indian Constitution and seculars.

10.40am: Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi appeals for consensus in passing bill on triple talaq at the BJP Parliamentary Party meet, says Union parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar.

10.15am: Huma Khayanat, a victim of triple talaq, says the proposed bill to be introduced in Lok Sabha will benefit people like her who have been divorced and those who are threatened with divorce. “If a law is formed for triple talaq just like there is a law for domestic violence, we will get some relief,” she says.

9.40am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the BJP’s parliamentary party meeting in New Delhi ahead of Parliament session.

9.31am: Congress MPs will stage a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on the Parliament premises at 10am over Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde’s comments on Constitution.

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