Lok Sabha passes triple talaq bill

NEW DELHI, DEC 28: The Lok Sabha today passed the contentious bill making instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband, a development hailed by the Government as “historic”.
The bill was passed after the House rejected a string of amendments moved by various opposition members.
MPs from the RJD, AIMIM, BJD, AIADMK and All India Muslim League opposed the bill, calling it arbitrary in nature and a faulty proposal.
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. A victim can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate.
The bill is likely to sail through the Rajya Sabha, where the Government lacks majority, given the Congress’s stated support to the legislation.
The bill to make instant triple talaq illegal and void and awarding a jail term of three years for the husband, was introduced in the Lok Sabha today.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, calling it a “historic day” amid opposition to its introduction by members of different parties, including RJD, AIMIM, BJD and All India Muslim League.
The law is about justice and respect for women and is not about any religion or community, he said, adding that the practice of instant triple has continued despite the Supreme Court order terming it void.
Parliament has to decide whether the victims of triple talaq have fundamental rights or not, he said after some opposition members claimed it violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
“It is a historic day. We are making history today,” Prasad said.
The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ and give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children.
The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue.
Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp would be bad or illegal and void.
According to the proposed law which would be applicable to the entire country except Jammu and Kashmir, giving instant talaq would attract a jail term of three years and a fine. It would be a non-bailable offence.
Earlier today the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for a consensus in passage of the bill on making instant triple talaq a punishable offence, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.
Briefing reporters on the proceedings of the weekly BJP Parliamentary Party meeting, he said the prime minister appealed for a consensus in passage of the ‘Muslim women Protection of Rights on Marriage’ Bill.
He said the Bill, set to be introduced in the Lok Sabha today, seeks to provide gender justice, respect and security for Muslim women.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad briefed BJP members on the various aspects and provisions of the draft law.
Kumar said today is a “historic day” as the government headed by Modi is bringing in the bill which is a major reform initiative.
Responding to a question on consensus on the legislation in Rajya Sabha where the opposition has an upper hand, Kumar said after its passage in Lok Sabha, the government will initiate the process of evolving a consensus in the upper house. He said the process, in fact has already begun.
Sources in the government had said earlier that Prasad is already in touch with leaders of the TMC, the BJD and other parties seeking their help in the passage of the law. (AGENCIES)