Triple Talaq bill in Parliament today: Here’s what has happened so far

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Published: January 5, 2018 10:44:12 AM

The fate of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which makes instant triple talaq a cognizable offence punishable with three years in jail, continued to hang in balance on the second last day of the winter session of Parliament on Thursday.

In the wake the deadlock over the triple talaq bill in Parliament, Narendra Modi government is likely to make its last-ditch effort today to get the bill approved in Rajya Sabha. (PTI)

In the wake the deadlock over the triple talaq bill in Parliament, Narendra Modi government is likely to make its last-ditch effort today to get the bill approved in Rajya Sabha. The fate of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which makes instant triple talaq a cognizable offence punishable with three years in jail, continued to hang in balance on the second last day of the winter session of Parliament on Thursday. Importantly, the ongoing winter session of the Parliament will conclude today. The bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha with most of the leading parties in the Opposition, including the Congress party, voting in favour, but with caveats. The contentious bill making instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband, was the development hailed by the government as historic while the opposition wants it to go ahead and empower women to an even greater extent. Here is what has happened so far:

• The fate of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which makes instant triple talaq a cognizable offence punishable with three years in jail, continued to hang in balance on the second last day of the winter session of Parliament on Thursday.

• A united opposition On Thursday had a face-off with the government over the triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha and stalled a debate on it insisting that it should be sent to a select panel, as the ruling BJP strongly sought its expeditious passage to stop the unlawful practice.

• Amid noisy scenes, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 for discussion and passage, but pandemonium broke out in the Upper House with the opposition creating an uproar and the BJP countering it vociferously.

• The proposed law, which makes talaq-e-biddat a “cognizable and non-bailable offence”, has provisions of “imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and fine” for any Muslim man who divorces his wife via instant triple talaq. It also provides for “subsistence allowance” to Muslim women and custody of minor children as “may be determined by the magistrate”, reported the Indian Express.

• The Congress party on Thursday maintained that the union government’s bill on triple talaq, if implemented sans amendments, could “harm” many families. “There are certain provisions in the bill that could harm families. This is what [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi ji wants. It is the mentality of Modi ji and ‘Sangh parivar’, because of which there have been efforts to insult Muslim community”, Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad told ANI.

• The government will, however, make its final effort today to get the bill approved in the Upper House. Its ministers have already met the top Congress and other opposition parties leaders to try and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.

• The bill, which seeks to make instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband, was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 28.

• The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’. It gives power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking subsistence allowance for herself and minor children.

• The bill, if enacted, will make triple talaq a criminal offence. It proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife in any form of spoken, written or by electronic means such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp.

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