Parliament Winter Session Highlights: The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the amended Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, which criminalises Triple Talaq, after arguments went on for over four hours. Before the Triple Talaq bill motion was adopted for consideration, Congress and AIADMK MPs staged a walkout.
While the Opposition demanded a joint select committee on the instant triple talaq bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called it a bill for “justice and humanity.” Prasad said, “It is essential that the Parliament talks in one voice and not make it a religious issue.” The Opposition, meanwhile, has accused the Modi government of having “ulterior motives” in passing the bill.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned within minutes of opening. The Upper House was closed without any transaction following protests over the Cauvery issue and the murder of a cop in Bulandshahr.
Parliament Winter Session: Lok Sabha passes Triple Talaq Bill. Here are the highlights
Lok Sabha passes Triple Talaq Bill
Lok Sabha passes amended Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, which criminalises Triple Talaq, after arguments went on for over four hours. House has been adjourned for the day. Will resume at 11 am tomorrow.
Motion adopted for consideration with 238 ayes
With 238 ayes 238 and 12 noes, the triple talaq bill motion was adopted for consideration. Now, the voting for clause by clause consideration to be adopted is underway in the Parliament.
Congress MPs stage walk out
Congress MPs walk out of Lok Sabha. Voting on Triple Talaq Bill is now underway
Don't understand why a secular nation like India should not eradicate Triple Talaq, says Prasad
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says the Triple Talaq Bill was introduced to adhere to the Supreme Court's ruling. Stressing that the police were helpless in taking action without the backing of law, Prasad says over 400 cases of instant Triple Talaq was reported this year alone. Prasad then goes on to explain the features of the Bill.
"The Bill allows only the affected woman or her family to file a case. There are provisions for reconciliation. He says the court can grant bail after taking the affected woman's account. The magistrate will decide the compensation," the BJP leader says. He further says about 22 Muslim nations, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, have codified triple talaq. "I don't understand why a secular nation like India should not eradicate instant Triple Talaq, which even Muslims countries have done away with,"
Ravi Shankar Prasad defends non-bailable clause in Triple Talaq Bill
On the non-bailable clause in the Triple Talaq Bill, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says offences such as domestic violence and dowry are also non-bailable offences. "The Opposition's demand for a joint select committee has possibly only one reason -- Why it is criminalized? When Parliament has passed bills calling for harsh punishment for other crimes then why no one said what will happen to families of culprits," Prasad says.
If Dowry law can be passed, why not Triple Talaq Bill, says Ravi Shankar Prasad
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is now putting his final arguments. He says no one in the Opposition supported the Triple Talaq Bill. "If Dowry law can be passed, why not Triple Talaq Bill," he says. Prasad tells the Lok Sabha that the bill has made the offence compoundable, meaning that the case can be withdrawn if the man and his estranged wife reach a compromise and that only the wife and her close relatives can file an FIR, ruling out the law's misuse.
Owaisi: You are decriminalising Section 377 but criminalising Triple Talaq
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi is now speaking on the Triple Talaq Bill. He says the party rejects the bill as it is against the belief of religious freedom. "You are decriminalising Section 377 but criminalising Triple Talaq," he says. Don't misguide the nation on Triple Talaq in the name of Supreme Court judgment, Owaisi says. Owaisi says there is no provision in the bill for maintenance of the wife and children.
'Govt bringing Triple Talaq Bill keeping in mind vote bank politics'
Accusing the BJP government of bringing the Triple Talaq Bill keeping in mind vote bank politics, Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan says, "The Quran mentions the 'advance rules' for divorce," Ranjan says. She claims the community is not aware of the procedure set by their religion. She wonders why the issues faced by Hindu women are not discussed. "Won't you bring a law to protect Hindu women," the Congress MP asks.
NCP leader Supriya Sule says she is not against intention of Triple Talaq law
NCP MP Supriya Sule Bill says the Triple Talaq bill is not for women who are at the top of the pyramid but it is for women who do not know their rights. "So is this the best we can do for them? Throwing their husbands in jail? Should we not stress on other similar women empowerment Bills like the ones about women's reservation in Parliament or marital rape," Sule says. She further goes on to say that she is not against the intention of the law, but the way in which it is being pushed across. "Nobody on either side of the table is against the cause," she says.
Not doing this for vote bank politics, says Smriti Irani on Triple Talaq Bill
Reacting to the Opposition's questions regarding the due process of law, Smriti Irani says the Triple Talaq Bill mentions that a magistrate will decide the punishment. "We are not doing this for vote bank politics. If that was all we were interested in, the cries of those Muslim women would not have reached this House," she says.
Smriti Irani: Over 400 women have been victims of Triple Talaq after SC ruling
Union Minister Smriti Irani is now presenting her views on the Triple Talaq Bill. She says over 400 women have been victims of triple talaq even after the Supreme Court ruled against it. "Four hundred is a huge number. Even if one woman is affected, every member sitting here should be disturbed," she says.
Md Salim slams govt, says crocodile tears being shed on behalf of Muslim women
CPI(M) MP Mohammed Salim too joins the Opposition chorus in demanding a joint parliamentary panel probe into the Triple Talaq Bill. A fired up Salim then brings to notice some comments made by RSS leaders. The remarks are eventually expunged by the Speaker. "You treat Muslim men as second class citizens, and you are talking about justice for Muslim women? Crocodile tears are being shed on behalf of Muslim women," the CPI(M) leader says. Salim says the fight to abolish Triple Talaq has been on for over 50 years by progressive Muslim women groups. "It did not start five years ago like our PM is claiming," he says.
Under pretext of women's right, govt is messing with nation's integrity: TRS MP
TRS MP from Mahbubnagar says under the pretext of protecting women's right, the government is messing with the integrity of the nation. "Modifying religious practices is not the purpose of this House. This Bill is entirely arbitrary. We should ensure the integration of minority community into the majority, not alienate them. This Bill is misconceived," he says.
Govt should focus more on saving lives of people being lynched in BJP-ruled states: TDP MP
Jayadev Galla of TDP says the government should focus more on saving the lives of men and women who are being lynched in BJP-governed states. Opining on the Triple Talaq Bill, Galla says many countries like Pakistan have banned the practice and introduced a Civil Code. "If a man beats his wife, he belongs in jail, but if he divorces her for whatever reason, does he belong in jail?" the TDP MP from Guntur asks. He also asks why the Bill excludes Jammu and Kashmir from its purview. "Is J&K not a part of India?" Galla asks.
Implementing Triple Talaq Bill in current form will be a disaster: BJD's Rabindra Jena
Now, BJD's Rabindra Jena is speaking in the Lok Sabha. He demands on bringing a Codified Muslim Personal Law as there is no safeguard to stop the misuse of the law. Reminding BJP about their promise of providing 33 per cent reservation for women, Jena says, "Implementing the Triple Talaq Bill in its current form will be a disaster as many men, fearing criminal prosecution, may simply abandon their wives rather than divorcing them".
TMC's Sudip Bandyopadhyay brings up topic of women reservation
TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay now brings up the topic of women reservation. "When we say about protecting the interest of women, we don't talk about the 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament. Of the 34 TMC MPs, 12 are women. That is how committed we are to elevating women," he says. Bandyopadhyay says TMC opposes the criminalising proposition in the Triple talaq Bill.
Triple talaq debate: Opposition more worried about criminals than victims, says Naqvi
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge interrupts and asks why a provision to criminalise a civil issue is not there in Hinduism. "But there is no triple talaq in Hinduism, is there?" Naqvi snaps back. The Union Minister says many countries ruled by Muslim law like Pakistan and Bangladesh have scrapped the Triple Talaq. "Why is a secular nation like ours hesitating? I do not understand why many in the Opposition are more worried about the criminals than the victim. This law is not to victimise anyone, our intention is pure," he says.
Naqvi says Triple Talaq still happening in India despite Supreme Court's order. "Congress buckled under the pressure of fanatics, didn't let a law be made against triple talaq," the BJP MP says.
Issue not related to Islam but is about injustice, says Naqvi
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says the issue is not related to Islam or religion but is about injustice. "When efforts were made to stop Sati or child labour, there were people who equated it with overreach into religion. But we overcame all that and justice prevailed. They why do we have a problem with Triple Talaq?" Naqvi asks.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi presents views on Triple Talaq Bill
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is now speaking and begins by responding to the Opposition criticism that the Triple Talaq Bill was formulated without consulting the stakeholders. "Muslim women went to the PM and one woman said that she was given the third talaq. She asked the PM when everyone is living in the 21st century, why are you making us beg for mercy?" Naqvi says.
'Triple Talaq bill fails to answer who will take care of wife, kids for 3 years'
Continuing his speech, AIADMK MP Anwhar Raajhaa says the proposed bill is unconstitutional, against national integrity and is against Muslim personal law. "Why are Muslim husbands being targeted. The bill fails to answer who will take care of the wife and children for three years,” he says. More than two crore Muslim women participated in silent protests against this Bill, he says. "It is ironical that such a Bill is being pushed forward with scant inputs from those who will be affected. This bill is an eyewash, and undemocratic," Raajhaa says. He says that the Bill should be either deferred or be referred to joint committee.
Fundamental rights being attacked in name of gender justice: AIADMK MP
Now, AIADMK MP A Anwhar Raajhaa is put forwarding his debate on the Triple Talaq Bill. Raajhaa says in the name of gender justice, the fundamental rights are being attacked. The AIADMK leader says the triple talaq bill is against the provisions of the Sharia law and that it will "only break ties than protect rights" of the Muslim women. Calling it a "direct infringement in the Muslim personal law", Raajhaa says AIADMK wants changes in the current bill.
Law brought by Rajiv Gandhi was appeasement politics, says Lekhi
Criticising the then Congress government over the Muslim Women (Protection on Divorce Act), 1986, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi says the law brought by Rajiv Gandhi was appeasement politics. "1986 was a loss opportunity. The appeasement policy prevented the history to take a new course in 1986. It was not for empowerment," she says.
The Muslim Women (Protection on Divorce Act), 1986 overturned the verdict in the Shah Bano case and said the maintenance period can only be made liable for the iddat period. The law said that if a woman wasn’t able to provide for herself, the magistrate had the power to direct the Wakf Board for providing the aggrieved woman means of sustenance and for her dependent children too.
Meenakshi Lekhi on Triple Talaq Bill: Men cannot be given supreme right to summarily divorce wife
Forwarding her argument on the Triple Talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi says irrespective of faith, women inherently do not want to divorce without a cause. "They want to lead a happy married life with their family. Be it a Christian, Hindu and Muslim, women mostly want to save their marriage. Men, on the other hand, have been seen to divorce women over most trivial cases," she says. Hence, men cannot be given supreme right to summarily divorce his wife and abandon her, Lekhi says.
Meenakshi Lekhi: Govt favours not just women empowerment but women-led empowerment
Continuing her speech on the Triple Talaq Bill, Meenakshi Lekhi says the government is speaking not just about women empowerment but about women-led empowerment. "No one from the Opposition is speaking about the fact that we are giving the right to divorce to a man, they are just talking about civil law into criminality," the BJP leader says. Quoting from the Quran on the dissolution of marriage, Lekhi furthers her argument. "The people who are arguing against this Bill should remember, no women wants to get divorced - I say this as a woman. We think that marriage is for life. We speak about marriage, not of divorce," she says.
Meenakshi Lekhi on Triple Talaq Bill: These are issues of human rights violation
AIADMK members start protesting and indulges in sloganeering on the Medakettu issue even as Congress MP from Silchar Sushmita Dev presents her views. Dev says it is very easy to give a lecture on the empowerment of Muslim women. "This is not the first time the Parliament has tried to speak about it too," Dev says. She then goes on to speak about Shayara Bano and Shah Bano Begum cases. Retorting to her, BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi says, "Would like to ask those opposing the Triple Talaq Bill here that in which suraa of the holy Quran is talaq-e-biddat mentioned? This is not he vs she, these are issues of human rights violation."
Kerala MP says Triple Talaq ordinance was passed with political motives
NK Premchandran from Kerala says theta there was no justification in issuing the ordinance and it was passed with political motives and an eye on 2019 elections. "This is a very poorly-drafted Bill. It proposes criminalising a civil wrong - why is it valid only for Muslims and not Hindus and Christians?" he asks, urging the Speaker to send the Bill to joint select committee. Premchandran further says many of the clauses in the Bill are contradictory. "For instance, how can a husband who is put in jail for three years provide maintenance to the wife? Clause 3,5,6 are inter-contradictory and is unconstitiutional," he says.
LK Advani in the House
LK Advani, Sumitra Mahajan seen outside the Parliament today (Express photo/Pravin Jain)
AIMPLB requests non-BJP MPs to reject triple talaq Bill
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has written to non-BJP MPs asking them to reject the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, which the board believes is anti-women and against the fundamental rights of an Indian citizen as guaranteed by the Constitution.
The letter, signed by AIMPLB executive member Asma Zehra, argues that the Bill is anti-women as it criminalises an offence that is essentially civil as per Islamic law which will only lead to an increase in the number of abandoned women. According to the letter, the Bill does not answer the question of the livelihood of the woman who has been given instant triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat) given that the offending husband will be in jail for a three-year term. “As your party stands as champions of citizens’ constitutional rights and secular credentials, we request you to take active participation in defeating this Bill,” the letter implores. (PTI)
Attempt to criminalise a civil wrong: RSP MP
NK Premchandran, RSP MP, questioned the need of the bill. "This is an attempt to criminalise a civil wrong. What is the hurry right now?" he said in Lok Sabha, accusing Modi government of having "ulterior motives."
Don't want to victimise anyone: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Reflecting on the number of triple talaq cases in India, Prasad said, "We did not want to victimise anyone. We are working towards women empowerment. Many nations have banned the practice. When we have brought death penalty for respect of women, why can't we ban this practice? It is essential that the Parliament speak in one voice and not make it a religious issue," Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Bill for justice, humanity: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is now addressing the House. "Today is an important bill. This bill is not against any religion or faith, but about the respect of women and faith. It is the bill for justice and humanity," he says, while the Opposition is raising chorus about Sabarimala. Reminding Kharge about his promise, Prasad said, "We will discuss the bill today. Allow us to put our points forward. People had issues with the earlier bill. We have drafted a new bill where the woman or a blood relative can make complain."
TMC also demands joint select committee
TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay also joins in and opines that the bill should be sent to joint select committee
Triple Talaq should be sent to Joint Selection Committee: Kharge
Mallikarjun Kharge is addressing the House. "This is an important bill and it is important that we go into the finest details. This is a matter of religion. Hence, this should be referred to the Joint Selection Commitee. One month time should be given and then the matter can be takenup for dicussuion."
If this government thinks they can bulldoze legislations they are mistaken:Derek O'Brien
"If this government thinks they can bulldoze legislations they are mistaken. They have now agreed to send two Bills to Select Committee, transgender bill and bill against trafficking. Don’t know how this Bill on NRI voting got listed today. The opposition took strong exception, this is serious," Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien said.
Lok Sabha resumes
Lok Sabha resumes. A debate on triple talaq bill is likely to come up in the House today. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will table the bill. The Congress has said it is not against the legislation but certain provisions in the bill presented and has sought amendments.
CPI leader D Raja told reporters that the bill should be sent to a select committee for further deliberations. According to Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant, the husband should not directly be sent to jail. "That needs to be figured out," he said.
Govt has prepared revival plan for Air India: Jayant Sinha in Lok Sabha
The government has prepared a revival plan for Air India that provides for a comprehensive financial package, differentiated strategies for each of the airline's core businesses and robust organisational reforms, Union Minister Jayant Sinha said Thursday. Various initiatives to turnaround the national carrier, which is staying afloat on a bailout package extended by the previous government, including monetisation of real estate assets are progressing.
Sinha told the Lok Sabha that the government has prepared a revival plan for Air India which focuses on building a competitive and profitable airline group. A comprehensive financial package, including transfer of non-core debt and assets to a Special Purpose Vehicle, implementation of a robust organisational and governance reforms by the board and differentiated business strategies for each of the core businesses of Air India are part of the plan.
"Higher levels of operational efficiency by strengthening management and implementing best business processes," are among the major elements of the plan, Sinha said. The Minister of State for Civil Aviation also said that Air India has planned to monetise its unutilised and surplus immovable real estate assets over the next few years. "Till date, Air India has realised an amount of Rs 410 crore through sale of its non-core assets in various cities in India and abroad. "Air India has also realised a rental income of Rs 314 crore approximately," he said during the Question Hour. (PTI)
Mekedatu Dam unites BJP, Congress
Earlier this morning, Congress and BJP MPs came together in support of the Mekedatu Dam over Cauvery river.
Unity for Mekedatu dam. MPs of @INCIndia and @BJP4India coming together in support of the dam over Cauvery even as AIADMK MPs continue their protests against it @IndianExpress @DKShivakumar @ShobhaBJP pic.twitter.com/9sO4ICc0Md— Liz Mathew (@MathewLiz) December 27, 2018
Lok Sabha adjourned
Lok Sabha adjourned till 2pm. Immediately after the House re-convened at noon, members from the Congress, TDP, and AIADMK jumped into the well with placards and started shouting slogans.
Why is Congress opposing instant triple talaq bill?
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. The Congress has said it is not against the legislation but certain provisions in the bill presented and has sought amendments.
Shashi Tharoor talks about rehabilitation of Kerala fishermen
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor raises the issue of rehabilitation of fishermen affected due to Kerala floods. "Let us show them the same solidarity that they showed to others during the floods," he told the Chair.
Earlier, representatives from Punjab requested silence for two minutes as today is the day when two sons of Sikh leader Guru Gobind Singh martyred themselves in the battle of December 1704 against the Mughals.