Opposition on Triple Talaq Bill: Bill politically motivated, real purpose is to penalise Muslim men

A united opposition in the Lok Sabha pitched for referring the triple talaq bill to a ‘joint select committee’ of Parliament, claiming its provisions were unconstitutional and needed greater scrutiny

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A united opposition in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, December 27, pitched for referring the triple talaq bill to a 'joint select committee' of Parliament, claiming its provisions were unconstitutional and that there was a need for a greater scrutiny of the draft law.

Opposing the Triple talaq bill in its current form, Congress MP Sushmita Dev said in the Lok Sabha that the real purpose of the bill was not to empower Muslim women but to "penalise" Muslim men.

Demanding that the bill be referred to the joint select committee of Parliament, Dev said criminalisation of triple talaq goes against the Supreme Court verdict.

"In the name of empowerment you (the government) has given nothing but a criminal case to women...the aim of the bill is not to empower Muslim women but to penalise Muslim men," she said.

AIADMK MP A Anwhar Raajhaa, TMC's Sudip Bandyopadhyay, AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi and Supriya Sule (NCP) also made similar demands.

RSP leader NK Premchandran has strongly disagreed with the passing of the bill and asserted that the BJP government had brought this bill with some other “ulterior motives”. He said that other civil laws don’t have the provision to make a civil dispute a criminal offence. He also stated that the move was politically motivated with the government keeping an eye on the 2019 General Elections.

AIADMK MP A Anwhar Raajhaa said that the triple talaq bill went against the Sharia Law’s provisions. He said that the bill would only “break ties” and does not protect the rights of Muslim women. He called the bill a "direct infringement in the Muslim personal law". Raajhaa said that his party sought changes in the current bill.

TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay also said that the Bill be sent to the joint select committee with all the opposition parties sharing the same opinion.

Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge in the Lok Sabha said “This is a very important bill which needs detailed study. It is also a constitutional matter. I request the bill be sent to joint select committee Triple Talaq Bill” reported by news agency ANI in a tweet.

The fresh Bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 17 to replace an ordinance issued in September.

Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.

The fresh bill will supersede an earlier bill passed in the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The earlier bill was approved by the Lower House.

But amid opposition by some parties in the upper house, the government had then cleared some amendments, including introduction of a provision of bail, to make it more acceptable.

However, as the bill continued to face resistance in the Rajya Sabha, the government issued an ordinance in September, incorporating the amendments.

An ordinance has a life of six months. But from the day a session begins, it has to be replaced by a bill which should be passed by Parliament within 42 days (six weeks), else it lapses.

The government is at liberty to re-promulgate the ordinance if the bill fails to get through Parliament.

The government had last week informed the Lok Sabha that till now 430 incidents of triple talaq have come to the notice of the government through the media, citing details of instant triple talaq cases.

Of these, 229 were reported before the Supreme Court judgement, while another 201 came to the notice after it.

These cases were reported between the period of January 2017 and September 13, 2018.

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