New Delhi: Pending for 19 months, the Triple Talaq bill, finally received the nod of the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. The Upper House passed the bill by 99 votes in favour and 84 against it. It earlier rejected an opposition sponsored motion to send the bill to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee with 100 votes against it as compared to 84 in favour.

While BJD supported the legislation, JD-U and AIADMK walked out, lowering the majority mark which normally stands at 121. The ruling NDA has 107 members in the 242-member Rajya Sabha. The NDA was also helped by the absence of some members of SP and BSP as well as those of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and YSR-Congress.

(Also read: ‘Triple Talaq Bill About Justice, Don’t Apply Political Lens,’ Says Ravi Shankar Prasad)

Soon after the Bill was passed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “An archaic and medieval practice has finally been confined to the dustbin of history! Parliament abolishes Triple Talaq and corrects a historical wrong done to Muslim women. This is a victory of gender justice and will further equality in society. India rejoices today!”

He added, “I thank all parties and MPs who have supported the passage of The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 in both Houses of Parliament. They have risen to the occasion and this step of theirs will forever be remembered in India’s history.”

He further tweeted, “This is an occasion to salute the remarkable courage of those Muslim women who have suffered great wrongs just due to the practice of Triple Talaq. The abolition of Triple Talaq will contribute to women empowerment and give women the dignity they deserve in our society.”

Union Home Minister Amit Shah lauded PM Modi and congratulated him for ‘fulfilling his commitment and ensuring a law to ban Triple Talaq’. He said, “Today is a great day for India’s democracy. I congratulate PM for fulfilling his commitment&ensuring a law to ban Triple Talaq, which will free Muslim women from curse of this regressive practice. I thank all parties who supported this historic bill.”

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath said,”Unfortunately people who used to speak for women empowerment opposed Bill in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, a Bill which is a symbol of women dignity. Congress and their allies, SP&BSP in state, have been exposed.”

JP Nadda, BJP’s working president said,”Heartiest greetings to PM Narendra Modi and all Rajya Sabha MPs for passing Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha and freeing Muslim women off the curse of Triple Talaq.”

“This Bill is one which ensures that the self respect of Muslim women stay intact. This reflects the motto of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ of Modi government,” he added.

The Congress party, on the other hand, criticised the Centre after the Bill was passed. Speaking to reporters, Congress leader Raj Babbar said,”Main samajhta hoon ki is desh ke andar kisi bhi family law ko lekar ek bahot bada jhatka hai. A civil law has been made a criminal law. It’s a historic mistake.”

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, was tabled in the upper house for debate and passage by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said that though the practice had been banned in many Islamic countries, India had not done so despite being a secular nation.

The Bill, which criminalises the practice of instant divorce among the Muslim community, has already been passed by the Lok Sabha.