The Lok Sabha today witnessed heated debate on the passage of Triple Talaq bill. The fresh bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 17, to replace an ordinance issued in September. The Lok Sabha last week decided to take up the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, on December 27 after the Congress agreed to participate in the debate.
Members from four parties — Congress, AIMIM, Trinamool Congress and the NCP — have demanded that the bill be sent to the Select Committee, saying it impinges on religious practices.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad supporting the bill questioned as to why a secular country like India isn’t banning Triple Talaq that has been banned by at least 20 Islamic nations. He requested the Parliament that the matter should not be looked through the prism of politics. He Prasad also said that the bill is not against any community, religion or belief. “This bill is for the rights of women and about justice.
However, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the matter should be referred to the Joint Selection Committee and a month’s time should be given before taking it up again for discussion as it was an important bill. He said, “It is important that we go into the finest details. This is a matter of religion.” He has appealed to the government not to interfere in religious matter.
The Congress has maintained a cautious approach on the legislation banning instant triple talaq and criminalising the offence. Party leaders have argued against criminalisation and have also sought amendments to the bill to ensure the financial protection of women through a maintenance package by the state.
Agreeing with Kharge, Trinamool Congress’ Sudip Bandyopadhyay said, “We also request the Triple Talaq Bill be sent to the joint select committee, all opposition is of the same opinion.”
Arguing for the Congress, MP Sushmita Dev said the definition of subsistence allowances also isn’t defined in the Triple Talaq Bill. “Triple Talaq Bill isn’t about empowering Muslim women but to penalise Muslim men,” she sai
Questioning if Triple Talaq was a part of any suraa of the Holy Quran, BJP member Meenakshi Lekhi said that those opposing the banning of this practice must know that this isn’t a “he vs she” but are issues of human rights violation.