The Congress party on Saturday objected to the jail and maintenance clauses of the triple talaq bill. Talking to ANI, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said, “There are lots of shortcomings in the triple talaq bill. Some sections will promote hatred and jealousy among the families instead of resolving disputes.” He also objected to the provision of jail term to Muslim men who will violate the triple talaq law “If a man is sent to jail then after release he will have grudges towards his wife and probably won’t look after her properly. If the man is sent to jail, then it would destroy the family economically,” Kharge said. He also objected to the maintenance clause of the bill and said, “Since 80 per cent of Muslims belong to the lower middle class and poor strata of the society, it would be difficult for a man to pay maintenance to his wife when he has to also take care of his old parents.” He said Congress was against the hurried manner in which the government was trying to pass the triple talaq bill. “We are objecting the way government is trying to pass the bill in a hurried manner. We have asked the government to send the bill to the standing committee for reconsideration but the government passed the bill in the Lok Sabha forcibly,” Kharge said.
When asked whether the party would oppose the bill in Rajya Sabha, Kharge didn’t give a specific answer. He, however, said a message shouldn’t go in the society that the Congress party was against the interests of the Muslim women but at the same time “we would urge the party leadership to press for sending the bill to the standing committee or a select committee to remove objectionable clauses.” After getting through Lok Sabha, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) doesn’t have majority. The Bill draft says “any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal”.
There is also a provision of imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years and fine for violators. The draft bill also envisages entitling divorcee Muslim women for maintenance and has a provision for them to have the custody of their minor children. The offences under the purview of this bill will be cognisable and non-bailable.