New Delhi, Dec 28: The contentious Triple Talaq Bill was tabled in Lok Sabha on Thursday by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar triggering a war of words between the Government and Opposition. The bill which criminalises instant divorce among Muslims was described as a violation of fundamental rights by All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi. Law Minister countered Owaisi by saying that the bill is for women justice and respect. Also Read - Guidelines Have Been Issued to Curb Misuse of Social Media Platforms, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad

Outspoken BJP Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy described triple talaq as a cruel practice which should not be allowed. Also Read - WhatsApp's Fate Hangs in Balance as New Rules Require to Identify Originator of a Message | EXPLAINED

Members from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Biju Janata Dal and some other parties spoke against the introduction of The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017. Also Read - Information Technology Rules, 2021: Govt Announces Guidelines to Regulate Social Media, OTT Platforms | Key Points

Who Said What:

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Law Minister

“Today we are creating history, this is a law about the pride of women. This law is for women’s rights and justice and not regarding any prayer, ritual or religion. Triple Talaq Bill stands for equality,” Prasad said.  “This law is not about religion, it is about gender justice, the dignity and pride of a woman. The Supreme Court called it illegal, but the practice still prevails. Are not the basic rights of our sisters a part of the basic structure of Constitution,” he added.

MJ Akbar, Union Minister

This slogan ‘Islam khatre mein hai’ was used before independence to divide India and is now being used to divide society, poison is being spread. “What is the credibility of All India Muslim Personal Law Board? Who chose them to be community representatives?” MJ Akbar said.

Subramanian Swamy, BJP MP (Rajya Sabha)

They can oppose, they belong to conservative society. Such kind of discrimination should not exist against Muslim women. We cannot allow such kind of cruelty.

Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM MP

Triple Talaq Bill violates fundamental rights and lacks legal coherence. Muslims were not consulted by the government before drafting the bill. “There is absence of consistency with the existing legal framework. The bill says the husband will be sent to jail, and it also says he will have to pay allowance… How can a person in jail pay allowances,” he said referring to the provision that a woman given triple talaq will have the right to seek maintenance,” Owaisi said.

Bhartruhari Mahtab, BJD MP

This bill is flawed, there are many internal contradictions in the Bill.

Salman Khurshid, Congress

I don’t think we can support it because they didn’t made us understand how this criminality of Triple Talaq will benefit women. If someone is lodged in prison as a punishment for saying Triple Talaq, who will take care of his family. (Also Read: Bring law to end triple talaq, Supreme Court tells Centre)

Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs

Those who oppose the bill have a regressive mindset. This law is progressive.

The bill proposes to make the triple talaq practice a punishable offence and describes it against “constitutional morality” and “gender equity”.

Anyone who pronounces instant divorce “shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and a fine”, the bill proposes.  The Union Cabinet has cleared the Bill earlier this month. The bill is being introduced as the practice still continued despite the Supreme Court striking down ‘talaq-e- biddat’.

Clerics and several Muslim organisations, cutting across sects and schools of jurisprudence, have opposed the bill, terming the government’s stand as “uncalled for interference” in the personal laws of the community.