Lok Sabha almost full for passage of Bill

Bill criminalising triple talaq intriduced in Lok Sabha

The government introduced the Bill in the Lok Sabha on Thursday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an appeal for consensus on criminalizing the practice of Triple Talaq.

The time to reform the Muslim Personal Law is now ripe, said the Minister, adding the legislation may not be an ideal one but "let us not destroy good for the sake of an ideal one".

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, while speaking about "Muslim women's pain" in Parliament, omitted the crucial aspect that most victims of instant triple talaq don't want their husbands to be jailed or penalised.

Apparently, the proposed law that has a provision of up to three years of jail and a penalty for violators, was passed amidst concern from opposition members that it was criminalising what was essentially a civil procedure, and that it could be misused.

Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the Congress in the House, and several other MPs of the opposition parties, demanded that it should be sent for vetting by a parliamentary standing committee.

The bill was passed by a voice vote after rejecting a resolution moved by Revolutionary Socialist Party member NK Premachandran, reports Hindustan Times (HT). Members also pointed out bringing in a legislation was redundant as the Supreme Court, with its majority judgement, has already put in place the law that bans triple talaq. With "triple talaq" under its belt, party can be expected to expand its focus to polygamy and the controversial practice of halala, which forbids a divorced couple from uniting unless the woman had married someone and secured a divorce from her second husband.

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"Though the Bill makes the divorced woman entitled to the custody of minor children after approaching the court, it does not ensure any financial security from the husband". According to the bill, instant Triple Talaq if pronounced shall be null and void. Should we have asked these women to frame and display the SC order in their rooms?

"The Muslim Women (Protection of rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 does not give equal position to men and women", said the letter addressed to PM Modi. "We were expecting that after this judgment, triple talaq cases would come down and situation would improve... but... about 300 triple talaq cases happened in 2017 and 100 were reported after the Supreme Court's judgment", he said, adding that there was one report of a woman being given triple talaq merely because she woke up late in the morning.

However, commenting on the provision of allowance, Mr. Atul said that there is no contradiction in the bill. "The Bill itself has many problems which the government needs to look at".

Opposing the provision of criminality clause, A Anwar Raja (AIADMK) said the Supreme Court had not put the provision of imprisonment.

A Sampath (CPI-M) also demanded the Bill need to be referred to Standing Committee.

The bill does not give equal rights to men and women, the women's group says. He said that practice of Triple Talaq continued although the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had committed to the Supreme Court that it would issue an advisory against it. "We know the reason for your anger".

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