Facing strong opposition from the Opposition, the contentious and mostly flawed Triple Talaq Bill that was passed by the Lok Sabha last week, was stalled in the Rajya Sabha today as the House adjourned without getting the bill passed.
The government has been pressing for the Muslim women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 aka the contentious Triple Talaq Bill in the Parliament since a year. The controversial bill that provisions a civil matter to be treated as a punishable criminal offence and orders three-year-long non-bailable imprisonment term for the husband, was passed by the Lok Sabha which is overpowered by the NDA, last week. The bill was tabled in the Rajya Sabha by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the Rajya Sabha, but it was eventually stalled by the Opposition.
The Opposition stuck the contentious bill arguing that a criminal angle cannot be introduced in a civil matter, especially when there is no punishment for desertion in any other religion. Besides this, the opposition also said that if made a law, the bill does not clarify about who will provide maintenance to the wife once the husband is in jail. Such a hard-lined and impetuous law will only make the civil matter worse, rather than being potential to spare room for reconciliation and bring a family together. Hence, the opposition has demanded formation of a select committee to scrutinise the bill, and the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till January 2.
About the bill, it criminalises the act of Muslim men divorcing their wives by uttering “Talaq” thrice. However, it must be noted that this mode of divorce, by no means is prescribed in Islam, and rather, the entire divorce process is to be deferred over a period of three months, or more. Practically, divorce and reconciliation are not the main issues that the Indian Muslim community are facing, the bigger concerns are women’s safety, education and economic development – and there are the concerns that the government must be pressing for if they intend actual development of the 14 percent of India’s 1.3 billion population.