Triple Talaq passed in Lok Sabha yet again, all eyes on Elders

LS: 'Oppn cannot be taken for granted' protests alleging govt 'rushing' bills through

The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the fresh version of the much talked about Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill – popularly called Triple Talaq bill.

The House had to take the Bill again within a year as it was stalled in the Rajya Sabha and in September this year, the NDA government had brought in an Ordinance that made the practice of instant triple Talaq illegal and void, and also that the husband can attract a jail term of three years.

Put to vote, 245 members gave their nod to Bill while 11 voted against it.

Just before the Bill was taken up for voting, Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge insisted that the draft law had several lapses and it violated the provisions of Article 45.

He said the Bill should be sent to a committee of Parliament for further scrutiny and when his demand was rejected by the treasury bench, members of Congress and other parties staged walkout.

The fresh bill supersedes the earlier draft law passed in the Lok Sabha on December 27, 2017 and was being scrutinised by the select committee in the Rajya Sabha.

Various amendments to the Bill move by Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM), N K Premachandran (RSP) and B Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal) were rejected by voting.

Moving one of the amendments, Mr Mahtab said the provisions of sending of sending the husband to jail must be done away with as this will leave very little scope for rapprochement between husband and wife.

Replying to the debate, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused the opposition of pursuing their vote bank politics vis-a-vis the plight of Muslim Women.

He said most participants in the debate spoke from their heart and everyone agreed that the practice of Triple Talaq is ‘bad’.

”None of my colleagues said that Triple talaq is a good practice but everyone had some issues and wanted to know why this law is being brought,” he said, adding he failed to understand this logic.

The minister said it has also been stated earlier outside the House that — ”What is held to be bad in the Holy Quran cannot be good in Shariat and, in that sense, what is bad in theology is bad in law as well.”

Quoting various reports and survey findings, Mr Prasad said the Muslim women who have been at the receiving end of this practice, have been suffering enough.

”There have been also instances if the husband was not happy with the food, the man would give instant talaq…One lawyer had divorced his wife just because she also wanted to divorce law,” he said.

The minister said the House has been witness to enactment of several laws which protected women but when it came to the interest of Muslim women, the Opposition members were raising objections.

The Bill will again go to the Rajya Sabha for its approval.

The Bill makes all declaration of Talaq, including  in written or electronic form, to be void (i e not enforceable in law) and illegal.

It defines Talaq as Talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of Talaq pronounced by a Muslim man resulting in

instant and irrevocable divorce.

Talaq-e-biddat refers to the practice under Muslim personal laws where pronouncement of the word ‘Talaq’ thrice in one sitting by a Muslim man to his wife results in an instant and irrevocable divorce.

The Bill provides that the Magistrate may grant bail to the accused but  it may be granted only after hearing the woman.

The Bill also says that a Muslim woman against whom Talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek

subsistence allowance from her husband for  herself and for her dependent children.

The amount of the allowance will be determined by the Magistrate. ( UNI )