New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018. The debate ran well into the evening with the Opposition demanding that the proposed legislation be sent to the select committee for detailed discussion. (Also read: ‘Issues of Public Interest Will be Taken up in Current Parliament Session,’ Says PM Modi)

Moving the Bill for passage, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Bill was not against any community, religion or belief. “Between January 2018 and December 10, around 477 cases of triple talaq have come to the fore. Even yesterday (Wednesday), such a case from Hyderabad came to our knowledge. That is why we brought an ordinance,” he said.

Pointing out that 20 Islamic countries had banned triple talaq, the Minister asked why a secular nation like India could not have this. “I request that this should not be looked through the prism of politics. This House made provisions for hanging the rapists. The same House passed Bills against dowry and domestic violence to protect the rights of women. So, why can’t we speak in one voice on this Bill,” he said, urging the House to pass the Bill.

Earlier, the Opposition members protested against moving the Bill and demanded that it be referred to the select committee. “It’s an important Bill and needs a detailed study. It is also a constitutional matter. It is also related to a specific religion. I request this Bill must be referred to the select committee,” Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said.

His demand was supported by TMC’s Sudip Bandopadhyay, AIADMK’s P Venugopal, AIMIM’s Asaddudin Owaisi, NCP’s Supriya Sule, RSP’s NK Premchandra and AAP’s Bhagwant Mann. The demand was virtually rejected by the government.

“When the Bill was brought earlier in the House, the Congress supported and voted in its favour. Then, they did not demand that the Bill be sent to select committee,” Prasad said.