New Delhi, Dec 28: The debate on Triple Talaq Bill witnessed heated arguments between the Government and Opposition in Lok Sabha on Thursday. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi came down hard on Union Minister Ravi Shankar, who introduced the Bill in the House earlier, saying the Modi government is harassing Muslim women. Also Read - Rajya Sabha Gives Importance to India’s Federal Structure: PM Modi  

Owaisi accused the government of having ulterior motives behind it pushing for a law which criminalises instant divorce among Muslims. Also Read - Owaisi Slams Centre Over Article 370, Says 'Government Loves Land of Kashmir, Not Its People'

“This government has vested interest. The Law Minister may be a good lawyer but he is certainly not a good draftsman. The government is mixing civil case with the criminal matter.
The Bill violated the fundamental rights and lacked “basic legal coherence,” Owaisi said. Describing Triple Talaq as a verbal and emotional abuse, Owaisi said that the Union law minister has failed to discriminate between civil law and criminal law. Also Read - With President Ram Nath Kovind's Assent, Triple Talaq Bill Becomes Law Criminalising Instant Divorce

“Your dream of having more Muslims in jail will be achieved. Please send the bill to the Standing Committee. You are forcing a Muslim woman to file an FIR against her husband. You are giving a handle to the Muslim man, who will have 90 days. If you are true to your intentions, create a corpus of Rs 1000 crore,” he said.  Owaisi moved two amendments concerning the Triple Talaq Bill, however, both were negated in Lok Sabha. Amendments moved by Congress’s Sushmita Dev and CPM’s A Sampath were also negated.

ए ओवैसी के संशोधन पर लोक सभा में वोटिंग pic.twitter.com/hipQafAgVq

Concluding the debate, Ravi Shankar Prasad charged the Congress of failing to take a stand over the matter. “The Congress’ stand on Triple Talaq is full of ambiguities. First, they are saying We support the bill. Then, they are demanding that bill must be sent to the select body,” the law minister said. “We have left the decision of jail term on the magistrate,” Prasad said an apparent response to Owaisi’s charge.

(Also Read: Triple Talaq Debate in Lok Sabha: Who Said What)

“Agar Muslim mahilaon, behno ke hith mein bill lana apraadh hai toh ye apraadh hum 10 baar karenge,” Prasad added.

Earlier, while tabling the Bill in the Lower House, Ravi Shankar 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”.

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.

MJ Akbar Slams AIMPLB

Participating in the debate over the contentious issue, Union Minister MJ Akbar slammed the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) for opposing a law on Triple Talaq

“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. (Also Read: Don’t Worry When You Have a Brother Like Narendra Modi: Meenakshi Lekhi Tells Muslim Women)

The bill draft says, “any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal”.

There is also a provision of imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years and fine for violators. The draft bill also envisages entitling divorcee Muslim women for maintenance and has a provision for them to have the custody of their minor children. The offences under the purview of this bill will be cognisable and non-bailable.