Triple talaq Bill to face hurdles from opposition in Rajya Sabha

The Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill - popularly known as the Triple Talaq bill, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today at about 04:00 pm.

Talking to reporters here, senior Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad defended the demand by the Congress and other Opposition parties to refer the Bill to the select committee of the house.

The Bill will come up again on Thursday. "This is the only way to expose the double standards of BJP", TMC leader Derek O'Brien said.

According to the proposed law which would be applicable to the entire country except in Jammu and Kashmir, giving instant talaq would attract a jail term of upto three years and a fine. "But who will provide alimony if the husband is sent to jail?" "How will she feed her family?" He said the BJP's love for equality of women is hollow as the party is sitting on the Women's Reservation Bill despite having majority in Lok Sabha. It wanted the bill to go to a committee, formed for the goal of scrutinizing the bill, which would only have members from Congress and its allied parties, leaving members of the government out completely. Congress MP Sushmita Dev has suggested the creation of a corpus fund by the government to support such women and their children till they can legally manage to get the subsistence allowance. We must note that this is a civil matter. Supporters of the bill draw a parallel to Section 498A IPC and bigamy, which are also criminal offences. But govt said notice should be given 24 hours in advance to move amendments. This bill could be the first step to do away with the constitutional rights of Muslims in India to practice and propagate their faith with freedom. "I am confident that all parties will cooperate in the Rajya Sabha", Pradhan said.

"We are all for this bill, it is a faulty bill".

Akil opposed the bill. "There has to be redressal within the confines of the marriage", says Faizur Rahman, secretary general of the Chennai-based Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought.

Squarely blaming the BJP over the bill she even predicted that the bill would only increase woes for the Muslim women. The repercussions will be worse. "The most absurd part of the bill: a neighbour, an enemy in an unrelated dispute, nearly anyone can complain against the Muslim man. The issue is being politicised which shouldn't be the case".

Talaq-e-biddat: This is the practice under Muslim personal laws where pronouncement of the word "talaq" thrice in one sitting by a Muslim man to his wife results in an instant and irrevocable divorce.

Samajwadi's Naresh Agarwal pointed out that there were two Houses of Parliament, so that if one makes a mistake the other can correct it. "We want a division".

The scholars were unanimously of the view that under the garb of emancipating Muslim women, a political decision had been taken without even a perfunctory attempt to consult members of the Muslim community, Islamic scholars and eminent legal luminaries of the country. The Congress said the BJP was "fooling the people" on the issue. Many of the Islamic scholars opine that pronouncing it instantly three times will be counted as saying it only once.

"We are not against social reform for any segment of society. No need to make it a political topic of discussion".

  • Leroy Wright