New Delhi, Jan 3: The triple talaq bill will be tabled in Rajya Sabha today amid opposition’s protests against criminalisation of the controversial Islamic practice. The instant divorce bill is likely to face a political showdown as opposition, including the Left, Congress, and Trinamool and various Muslim organisations, have opposed the penal provisions of triple talaq.
The government was in talks with Congress party for smooth passage of the legislation, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said. “We are in talks with Congress party and others for the Triple Talaq Bill, hope for a smooth passage in Rajya Sabha. It can be introduced tomorrow,” Ananth Kumar was quoted as saying by ANI.
The opposition has disagreed over the clause which awards three-year imprisonment to the Muslim men who violate the Supreme Court’s orders banning triple talaq. The opposition believes that the government is isolated on the triple talaq bill and as some BJP allies such as TDP and AIADMK are not “keen on the resolution”. “It has been listed for today but as far as left parties are concerned, we will demand that bill should be referred to Select Committee of Rajya Sabha,” D Raja said.
The Narendra Modi government has challenged the opposition to oppose the bill on the floor of the House. “Even if it is to go to a committee, let there be a vote,” a senior minister was quoted as saying by Times of India. “NDA will not be able to cross much more than 80 votes,” a senior leader said. (Also Read: Criminalisation of Triple Talaq Makes Muslim Women More Vulnerable: Women’s Groups)
While the Congress and Left leaders opposed the clause which criminalises instant divorce and provides three-year imprisonment to the Muslim men saying it might be a bit excessive, some of the Muslim organisations and women’s groups have argued that it will further exploit and bring injustice to the married Muslim women. All India Muslim Personal Law Board had earlier asked the government to withdraw and withhold the legislation.
Although the Bebak Collective group supports Shayara Bano’s petition against instant divorce, it argued that the bill will only make Muslim women more vulnerable as she won’t have financial security. “Instead of bringing in a new legislation that merely criminalises instant talaq, the government should amend the existing Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939. The Act requires women to approach the court for divorce. It should be made gender-neutral so that even men have to approach the court for a divorce,” Bebak Collective had said.
AIMIM too has spoken against the bill calling it “draconian”. AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi had also said that the bill only bring injustice to the married Muslim women.