Triple Talaq law cleared by Lok Sabha for 3rd time, Rajya Sabha challenge next

Narendra Modi Government introduced a fresh bill— making “triple talaq” illegal, void and penal -- in June this year after its re-election in May 2019.
The triple talaq ban is currently being enforced through an ordinance since a bill similar to the present one couldn’t be passed in the Upper House during the tenure of the 16th Lok Sabha.(AFP)
The triple talaq ban is currently being enforced through an ordinance since a bill similar to the present one couldn’t be passed in the Upper House during the tenure of the 16th Lok Sabha.(AFP)
Updated on Jun 04, 2020 09:25 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Lok Sabha on Thursday passed a law making the practice of instant “triple talaq’ illegal and punishable with up to three years in jail for the husband. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019, popularly known as the “triple talaq” bill will now have to clear the Rajya Sabha hurdle before it can become a law.

The “triple talaq” ban is currently being enforced through an ordinance since a bill similar to the present one couldn’t be passed in the Upper House during the tenure of the 16th Lok Sabha.

Watch | Triple Talaq bill cleared by Lok Sabha after fiery debate

 

Follow LIVE updates here.

Narendra Modi Government introduced a fresh bill— making “triple talaq” illegal, void and penal -- in June this year after its re-election in May 2019.

Initiating the debate on the Bill after placing it for consideration, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the law was necessary since the practice hadn’t stopped despite a two-year-old Supreme Court order declaring it illegal.

“574 cases of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ had been reported by the media since January 2017”, Prasad said. “The law was needed to achieve gender equality and justice and shouldn’t be viewed from the narrow prism of religion,” Prasad went on to argue while hitting out at the critics of the Bill.

The new Bill has safeguards such as the provision of bail for the accused before commencement of trial aimed to prevent possible misuse of the law. “A provision has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail “after hearing the wife”, Prasad said.

Earlier, during the debate, the Opposition demanded removal of the penal provision calling it ‘discriminatory’ to the Muslim husband. Opposition parties also claimed that the 3-year jail term was not just disproportionate but was also counter-productive.

Some other critics suggested that the Bill only targeted Muslim women when the problem of abandoning-wives was not unique to the community.

The Congress party said while it opposed “triple talaq” it couldn’t support the Bill in its current “discriminatory” form as it singled out Muslim men and women. Party’s MP from Assam, Gaurav Gogoi said the government should have brought a comprehensive bill to empower women from all religions and sections.

Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay demanded that the 3-year jail term provision-- which he called “arbitrary and excessive”—be dropped.

“A jailed husband can neither support his family nor give maintenance to his separated wife,” he added while demanding that the Bill be referred to a joint select committee.

Minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the argument against 3-year jail term was specious and mischievous as it sought to side with the guilty. “Those who do not refrain from ‘triple talaq’ deserve to be jailed,” he said. “All the major Islamic countries had banned “triple talaq” and therefore it couldn’t be argued that even a religious ground existed for opposing it,” he added.

NDA ally JD(U) decided to abstain from voting on the “triple talaq” Bill.

Party MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh said, his party was fundamentally opposed to any interference on “triple talaq” and feared the Bill may breed mistrust within the Muslim community. “The government should instead try to awaken the community to women’s rights,” he said, adding that despite being a part of the NDA, his party had divergent views on controversial issues including common civil code and article 370.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021