Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Friday introduced a fresh bill to ban instant triple talaq in the Lok Sabha, saying that this will help protect the rights of Muslim women.
Introducing the Bill amid protest by the Congress and AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, Prasad said, “This is not a matter of religion, caste or community. It is a matter of a woman’s dignity and integrity. The rights of Muslim women will be protected (through this law).” Quoting Article 15 of the Constitution, he said the law is to give justice to women who were victims of instant talaq. Read in Bangla
The introduction of the bill, however, saw huge uproar in the Lok Sabha with the Opposition demanding that it should not be tabled before thorough consultation with the parties from the other side of the treasury bench.
The move was opposed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor who said even as he is against instant talaq, he is opposed to considering a civil offence as a criminal offence. He suggested the scope of the Bill should be extended to women of all communities.
Terming the bill a “class legislation”, Tharoor said abandoning of women by their husbands is not unique to Muslim community and is equally prevalent among other communities. So, why not make a universal law to provide protection to all women, he argued.
AMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi also took a dig at the BJP, saying the party has so much affection for Muslim women but is opposed to rights of Hindu women to enter Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple in Kerala. He went on to say that the bill violates constitutional rights as it stipulates three-year jail term for Muslim men while non-Muslim men get only one year of jail term for a similar offence, he said.
The Bill, which proposes to make the practice of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) a penal offence, had faced objections from the opposition parties during the last Parliament session in February too. They had claimed that jail term for a man for divorcing his wife was legally untenable.
After the bill lapsed in the last session, the government had promulgated an ordinance to outlaw the practice.