Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday (July 30) moved the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019, popularly known as the triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha, saying it has been brought to ensure justice for Muslim women and should not be seen through a political prism.
Urging members to approve the bill, he said the practice of triple talaq is continuing despite the Supreme Court banning the same through its judgement. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last week.
Moving the bill, Prasad said the proposed legislation should be not seen through a political prism or vote bank politics, as it aims to ensure gender dignity and equality.
Meanwhile, NDA ally Janata Dal (United) and AIADMK staged a walkout in Rajya Sabha during the discussion, which is expected to bring down the majority mark, making it easier for the government to push through the bill in the Upper House.
Before walking out, JD(U) member Bashishtha Narain Singh said that his party followed the ideology of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia, and Jayaprakash Narayan and it opposed the Bill.
Speaking while tabling the bill, Prasad said, “This issue should not be seen through a political prism or vote bank politics. This is a question of humanity. This is for ensuring justice to women, dignity and empowerment to women and to ensure gender dignity and equality.”
He added that after the Supreme Court judgement banning instant triple talaq as many as 574 cases of the illegal practice have come to the notice of the government.
He added that after the last ordinance issued by the government criminalising the practice, as many as 101 cases have come to light. “The judgement has come, but no action on triple talaq has been taken. That is why we have brought this law, because the law is a deterrence,” he said.
Prasad said the practice has been banned in more than 20 Islamic countries, but has not happened in India. The Congress, however, opposed the criminal angle in the bill. Amee Yajnik said that, through this bill, the government has thrust women into a criminal magisterial court for settling family matters.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has allotted four hours for discussing the legislation. Under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, divorcing through instant triple talaq will be illegal, void and would attract a jail term of three years for the husband.
While the bill makes triple talaq a “non-bailable” offence, an accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail. In a non-bailable offence, bail cannot be granted by police at the police station itself.