Lok Sabha passes Triple Talaq bill by voice vote

Lok Sabha passes Triple Talaq bill by voice vote

The women, including those who waged the war against the practice in the Supreme Court, said with the passing of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill in the lower House, "a new beginning has been made" and it will prove to be a deterrent for the husbands from saying talaq-e-biddat to their wives.

Clarifying that the husband can always apply to the magistrate for bail, Prasad said that not only does the proposed law declare instant triple talaq void and illegal, it also makes such a pronouncement punishable with a fine and imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years.

Similarly, AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi, one of the staunchest opponents of the Bill, pointed out that the Bill is riddled with inconsistencies and loopholes, which are targeted legal discrimination of Muslim men, and thereby putting Muslim women in jeopardy. Opposition members recommended the Bill be sent to a parliamentary standing committee in the interest of an improved legislation. The MPs of other oppostion parties like the BJD, CPM, AIADMK, SP, RJD and the RSP also raised similar questions. The Congress did not even give notice to oppose introduction of the Bill and the Trinamool Congress did not participate in the discussion. "While the Bill talks only about Muslim women being abandoned, the Government should also worry about almost 20 lakh women of various religions who are abandoned by their husbands, "including our bhabhi from Gujarat", he said, making a veiled reference to Prime Minister's wife Jashodaben". While introducing the Bill earlier in the day, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had called it a historic day and stated that the Bill was aimed at ensuring gender justice for Muslim women, while assuring the House that "it was not about religion but about justice and respect for women".

Referring to the Shah Bano case of mid-1980s, Meenakshi Lekhi of the BJP criticized the opposition Congress of indulging in politics of appeasement overlooking the plight of Muslim women. Both the government and the key Opposition party are on board.

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Is the law may be misused? Congress acknowledged the need for a law (on instant triple talaq).

"It's shocking that the bill has been passed by the force of a brute majority without any consultation with women's groups", senior advocate Indira Jaising said. Most opposition parties continue to think that the criminalisation provision needs a rethink, the source added.

Soon after the apex court's ruling, the government set up a ministerial panel to frame the legislation. They were of the view that Parliament should consider an "appropriate" law to deal with the issue of talaq-e-biddat.

Another former Congress minister Kapil Sibal's decision to defend triple talaq on behalf of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) in the Supreme Court on grounds that "it is an age-old tradition and could not be considered unconstitutional" has not gone down well with the party bigwigs.

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