• Thursday, Oct 01, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:57 am

Lok Sabha passes Bill criminalizing instant triple talaq

  • Published at 11:53 pm July 25th, 2019
A veiled muslim woman walks across a road in the old quarters of Delhi, India, July 24, 2019 Reuters

Several amendments moved by the Opposition were defeated

Lok Sabha yesterday passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 which criminalizes instant triple talaq among Muslims and attracts a jail term of three years for the husband, reports The Hindu.

Cleared after a prolonged debate in the lower house with a majority of 303 votes this is the first time that the bill was tabled in the 17th Lok Sabha by the Central Government after coming back to power.

Tabling the bill Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “Law is not about religion or garnering votes, it is for women empowerment.’’

The bill seeks to make the practice of instant triple talaq – which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by uttering the word “talaq” thrice in spoken or written forms, or via electronic communication – a penal offence, reports Scroll.in.

The debate witnessed a walkout by BJP ally Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JDU) with the JDU maintaining that such bills create a “lack of trust in the society.” Two other opposition parties - the Congress and the Trinamool Congress - walked out after the voice vote. The bill now faces the Rajya Sabha test, reports The Hindu.

Calling the bill as “anti-Islam,” All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi said: “Introducing a law will not eradicate a social evil on women. In fact you have done more harm than good. Why is the Centre not introducing a law against mob lynching. You brought an ordinance for jalli kattu. When a Muslim woman was raped in Muzzaffarnagar, no conviction was held. If you have any respect for women, send all women BJP MP in a special aircraft to Sabarimala."

The Opposition also noted the Bill is “discriminatory” as it sought to target only Muslim women even when the problem of abandoning-wives was not unique to the community. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that the crime is the desertion of wife without taking responsibilty. “Why is a law criminalizing Muslim husbands?” The Supreme Court has already criminalized Triple Talaq so there is no need for this Bill. NK Premachandran (RSP, Kerala) added that the government is taking a minority judgement and considering turning the same into a law.

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