The Lok Sabha has passed the much-talked about legislation making instant triple illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband. Government, which has earlier in the day sought consensus from all the parties on the issue, hailed the passage of bill, terming it “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.
Moving the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill for passage in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad urged the members to pass the measure, saying the bill should not be linked to or seen through the prism of any religion or politics.
“I appeal to this House and the biggest panchayat that please do not see this bill from the prism of politics,” he said, adding it should neither be confined within the walls of political parties, nor should it be looked as vote bank politics.
On August 22, Supreme Court passed a judgment saying it was unconstitutional and arbitrary.
He said that judiciary in various judgments have conveyed their concerns from time to time on this issue. “We were expecting that after this judgment, triple talaq cases would come down and situation would improve…about 300 triple talaq cases happened in 2017″ and 100 were reported after the Supreme Court’s judgment.
Several countries particularly Islamic nations including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Indonesia, Malaysia and Tunisia have regulated this. “See where Islamic nations have reached and see where we are,” he asked.
Prasad said triple talaq practice has inflicted atrocities on Muslim women, “do we close our eyes and keep quite”.
“We do not want to interfere in Sharia. This bill is on ‘talaq-e-biddat’,” he said, adding “the issue is not of religion, faith, puja, the issue is gender justice, equality and dignity”.
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.
Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be illegal and void.
The bill will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha for passage before it is forwarded to the President for signing it into law.
The bill is likely to sail through the Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks majority, given the Congress’s stated support to the legislation.
(With inputs from PTI)