New Delhi, Dec 28: After just a day of discussion, the Lok Sabha (LS) on Thursday passed a bill that makes triple talaq a criminal offence.
The bill was passed after the House rejected a string of amendments moved by various opposition members.
Despite reservations by opposition parties, the bill was cleared on the same day that it was introduced – something that was possible because the BJP government has a brute majority in the Lower House.
The bill will now be tabled in the Rajya Sabha.
The draft bill, officially called Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, says, “any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal.”
The draft bill also has a provision of imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years, and a fine, for violators.
“We are not interfering in Shariat”, said law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the LS today during the debate on the Triple Talaq Bill.
“This law is for women’s rights and justice and not regarding any prayer, ritual or religion,” he added.
The law minister added that Centre is looking at the bill through the lens of humanity and not politics, as alleged by the opposition parties.
During the debate, several opposition parties had expressed reservations about the draft bill.
The Congress said it is supporting the bill, but will raise objections about its criminal provisions.
“…they didn’t make us understand how this criminality of Triple Talaq will benefit women. If someone is lodged in prison as a punishment for saying Triple Talaq, who will take care of his family,” said Salman Khurshid, senior Congress leader.
The Congress party’s Mallikarjun Kharge said he hoped some of these issues could be resolved in the standing committee.
“All of us (Congress) are supporting this bill, but there are certain lacunae which should and can be rectified in the standing committee, we can sit together and sort out in a time bound manner,” said Kharge in the LS.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) too called the bill flawed.
“This bill is flawed, there are many internal contradictions in the Bill, said BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab.
The AIMIM and the Samajwadi Party (SP) were both completely against the bill.
The SP said the “bill will only make Hindu fanatics happy”, while the AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi said, “it violates fundamental rights and lacks legal coherence.”