New Delhi, Jan 3: The contentious bill that criminalises instant triple talaq among Muslims, already passed by the Lok Sabha, was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday amid sloganeering by the Opposition over violence in Maharashtra. Despite repeated appeals by deputy-chairman PJ Kurien, Opposition leaders continued their protest forcing the House to be adjourned till 11 am, Thursday.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad presented the Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha, where the BJP government lacks a majority, even as the Opposition demanded that the bill should be sent to a parliamentary committee for its review. (Also Read: Bhima-Koregaon Violence: Congress Accuses BJP of Fanning Caste War, Kharge Calls PM Modi ‘Mauni Baba’)
Ravi Shankar Prasad accused the Congress-led Opposition of trying to block the bill in Rajya Sabha by raising the issue of Maharashtra violence. “This issue is being raised deliberately so that Triple Talaq Bill can be stalled,” he said.
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“We condemn the statement by Law Minister, that we are raising Bhima Koregaon Violence issue to stall Triple Talaq Bill. We have been raising the issue of Dalit atrocities as this govt is anti-Dalit,” veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad responded.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley blamed the Congress of trying to derail the Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha by raising the issue of violence in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra. Jaitley said the leader of the Opposition should also speak about the organised manner in which violence was instigated in the state.
Objecting to Congress’ Anand Sharma moving a notice stating that the bill be referred to Select Committee of Rajya Sabha, Jaitley added, “The house is taken by surprise that a motion is suddenly moved, it has not been submitted a day before. The motion has to be give at least 24 hours in advance.” “The whole country is watching that in the other house you supported the bill and in this house you are trying to derail the bill,” he said.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which makes instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband, was passed by the Lok Sabha last week.
This bill gives power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children in the case of instant triple talaq or talaq-e- biddat. (Also Read: Triple Talaq: Asaduddin Owaisi Slams Ravi Shankar Prasad, Says Government Has Vested Interest)
A victim can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate.
Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form – spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp – would be illegal and void.