Triple talaq bill: In a historic move, the bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha on Thursday thus criminalising instant triple talaq and making it punishable for anyone who practices it. A husband who now gives instant triple talaq to his wife will receive imprisonment of up to three years. The bill was hailed by the government as “historic” but disapproved of by a section of the opposition. The Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill by voice vote after rejecting a string of amendments moved by opposition members. The next move in the case is that it will be introduced in the Rajya Sabha in the first week of 2018. Here are 10 developments in the case so far-
1. The bill was introduced by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and he was the one who later wrapped up a debate on the same. He urged the lower house to pass the bill “for the sisters of the Muslim community, for the dignity of women, gender equality,”. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who introduced the bill as part of the listed business, had requested her to allow it to be considered and passed during the day itself, and the request was granted.
2. Once the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, the government called it a “historic day for India.”
3. The bill was passed in the lower house after the Supreme Court had outlawed instant triple talaq in August and asked the government to frame a law within six months. Ending the controversial divorce practice.
4. The Congress said it supported the bill but wanted it to be scrutinised by the Standing Committee of Parliament, a demand that was rejected by the chair. The RJD and Samajwadi Party also backed the demand of referring the bill to the Standing Committee.
5. Several parties including the Biju Janata Dal, AIADMK and the Trinamool Congress opposed the bill and abstained from voting in the Lok Sabha. There are a total of 20 MPs from BJD, 37 from AIADMK and 33 from Trimamool in the Lok Sabha. They said it is arbitrary in nature and a faulty proposal.
6. Asaduddin Owaisi, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief sought six amendments in the bill in the Lok Sabha and insisted on a division of votes or voting recorded on a machine on them to make a political point. Owaisi said Parliament lacks the legislative competence to pass the law as it violated fundamental rights.
7. Given the Congress’s stated support, the bill is likely to be passed by the Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks majority. However, the main opposition party may again insist on referring the legislation to the Standing Committee.
8. In his speech, Prasad said despite the Supreme Court declaring instant triple talaq illegal, it was continuing. He claimed that as recently on Thursday itself, a woman in Rampur was given instant triple talaq by her husband for getting up late.
9. Seeking to allay their concerns Prasad said it is wrong link instant triple talaq, the divorce practice which the Supreme Court struck down as illegal, with the Uniform Civil Code. “Some are trying to spread fear that the bill is being brought to put Muslims behind the bars,” Prasad said.
10. The Congress did not push for a division in the Lok Sabha on amendments moved by its MPs, nor did the party support any amendment sought by other opposition lawmakers.