Lok Sabha passes triple talaq bill, Rajya Sabha test awaits

The Lok Sabha on Friday passed a bill criminalising the practice of Triple Talaq. The bill seeks to criminalise the practice which has already been declared null and void by the country’s Supreme Court. Once it becomes a law, the Muslim men culpable of giving instant triple talaq to their wives would be liable for punishment of three years in jail.

The bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha. In the Lok Sabha, 303 parliamentarians voted in favour whereas 82 MPs voted against the bill. Several amendments moved by the opposition were defeated.

The JDU, TMC and Congress MPs staged a walkout from the House in protest against the triple talaq bill. The Congress and other opposition parties demanded the bill be sent to the Standing Committee for review, saying it targets Muslim community of the country.

Earlier, moving the bill in the Lok Sabha, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the legislation was a must for gender equality and justice and despite an August 2017 Supreme Court verdict striking down the practice of instant triple talaq, women are being divorced by ‘talaq-e-biddat’.
He said, since January 2017, as many as 574 triple talaq cases and since the Supreme Court order, more than 300 such cases were reported by the media.

Opposing the bill, Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) said there are nine types of talaqs in Islam. Owaisi asked if the husband is jailed, as the bill proposes, then how will he be able to pay the maintainance to his wife while sitting in the jail.
“You want to destroy the institution of marriage and bring the women on the road,” he said.

Owaisi said when the Supreme Court has banned instant triple talaq then why does the government want to jail Muslim man. Owaisi challenged the government to take all women MPs of BJP in a special aircraft to Sabrimala, if the government is concerned about the rights of women.

Gaurav Gogoi (Congress) said the SC had not asked the government to make triple talaq criminial offence. “If you want to protect Muslim women who are divorced by their husbands, then you should also give protection to Hindu and Parsi women who are deserted by their husbands,” Gogoi said.