The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the controversial bill making instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband, a development hailed by the government as “historic”.
The House, where the BJP is in majority, rejected a string of amendments moved by various opposition members. MPs from the RJD, AIMIM, BJD, AIADMK and All India Muslim League opposed the bill, calling it arbitrary in nature and a faulty proposal., reported PTI.
Sushmita Dev, the Congress MP, asked why ‘this government was in a hurry to pass the bill.’
She told the ANI, “SC banned Triple Talaq because it believed that a couple should get time for reconciliation. With this bill, the offence will now be a non-bailable offence. There’ll be no chance of reconciliation. I moved an amendment over compensation for Muslim women from the government, but it was negated.”
The AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi had taken a dig at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi by saying that the bill should also include 20 lakh non-Muslim women abandoned by their husbands including ‘bhabhi(sister-in-law)’ in Gujarat, in a reference to the estranged wife of the prime minister.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e- biddat’. It gives power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children. A victim can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate.
Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be illegal and void.
The bill will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha for passage before it is forwarded to the President for signing it into law.
The bill is likely to sail through the Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks majority, given the Congress’s stated support to the legislation.