Modi Govt In Rajya Sabha As Upper House Passes Triple Talaq Bill
By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 30, Jul 2019, 20:52 pm IST | UPDATED: 30, Jul 2019, 20:52 pm IST
Delhi: In a historic victory for the Narendra Modi government in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House on Tuesday passed a bill that makes instant triple talaq a criminal offence and provides for a jail term to a Muslim man for the crime. The Upper House passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, by 99 votes in favour and 84 against it. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill last week and with the Rajya Sabha now approving it, the practice of instant divorce by Muslim men will be punishable by jail term of up to three years.
The House earlier rejected an opposition sponsored motion to send the bill to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee with 100 votes against it as compared to 84 in favour. While BJD supported the legislation, JD-U and AIADMK walked out, lowering the majority mark which normally stands at 121. The ruling NDA has 107 members in the 242-member Rajya Sabha. The NDA was also helped by the absence of some members of SP and BSP as well as those of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and YSR-Congress.
The same strategy had helped the government push through the contentious amendment to the Right To Information (RTI) Act last week despite lacking numbers in the Upper House. Once granted assent by the President, the bill will replace an ordinance promulgated last on February 21 to the same effect as the bill.
The Triple Talaq bill could not make it through the Upper House earlier this year during the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, although it was passed by Lok Sabha. The Bill was again passed by the Lok Sabha last week amid a walkout by several opposition parties including the Congress and the Trinamool Congress. The opposition parties say in its current form, the proposed law could be misused to harass Muslims and wanted it to be reviewed by a parliamentary committee
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad moved the bill in Rajya Sabha, saying it has been brought to ensure justice for Muslim women and should not be seen through a political prism. Urging members to approve 'The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019', he said the practise of triple talaq is continuing despite the Supreme Court banning the same through its judgement.
Participating in the debate, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that the bill is politically motivated and the real objective behind bringing the Bill was destruction of Muslim families.
He claimed that the objections raised by him have not been addressed and instead the government has done "cosmetic surgery". Azad observed that marriage is a civil contract in Islam and it is being given a criminal face through the proposed legislation.
He sought to know if the government will provide sustenance allowance to women whose husbands are lodged in prison for Triple Talaq during the three-year period.
The Congress leader claimed that Talaq could be uttered thrice in anger like a curse, and may not be actually executed, and therefore, men cannot be punished for it.
Triple Talaq according to Supreme Court is null and void, Azad said, wondering how Muslim men after staying in jail for three years will go home and live peacefully with their wives