Lok Sabha Passes Triple Talaq Bill

Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which seeks to ban instant triple talaq and will lead to imprisonment of up to three years and fine, after a charged debate in the House, with several opposition members warning that the proposed law will make a civil offence a criminal wrongdoing.

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad moved the Bill banning Talaq-e-biddat in the wake of the August 22 SC order declaring the practice “null and void”, unconstitutional and arbitrary. He said the SC had asked the government to pass a law on the matter.

The minister cited a case of triple talaq in Rampur district reported in the media and pressed on the urgency of passing the Bill without sending it to the standing panel. Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and others suggested the Bill should not be hurried through and sent to the parliamentary panel as views of the Muslim community had not been taken.

The government maintained that 10 Islamic countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia and Malaysia, have banned instant talaq. Countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan even have penal provisions like jail for one year. Prasad insisted talaq needs to be “regulated” as has been done by these Islamic countries where one has to give a notice to his wife and inform the arbitration council.

MoS for external affairs MJ Akbar recalled Jawaharlal Nehru had said at the time the Hindu Code Bill was passed that the “time was not right” for a similar law for Muslims. He said that moment has come.

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