New Delhi, Dec 17 (IECurrentAffairs) The government on Monday introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 in Lok Sabha.
As the House reassembled after first adjournment and washout of Question Hour, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to move for leave of the House to introduce the much talked about draft law – also called Triple Talaq Bill.
While the draft law was being introduced by Mr Prasad amid din, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor opposed the introduction of the Bill saying the government did not have the competence to pilot such a law as the matter relates to people’s faith and religious practices.
He alleged the Bill was in “violation” of the Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution and was “misconceived”.
Brushing aside the Congress member’s objections, the Law Minister said even the Supreme Court has said earlier that the practice of Triple Talaq was “unconstitutional” and the government move is only aimed at ensuring the ‘welfare’ of the minority community women.
“There were instances that Muslim women had to face the wrath of the practice on petty and whimsical reasons and there were cases when Talaq was even given to women on Whatsapp,” Mr Prasad said.
The Bill among other things seeks to declare the practice of Triple Talaq as “void and illegal” and also make it an offence punishable with imprisonment up to three years and fine. The offence would traible by a first class judicial magistrate.
The statement of objects and reasons of the draft law says: “It was also proposed to provide subsistence allowed to married Muslim women and dependent children also for the custody of minor children”.
The Bill also seeks to make the offence ‘cognisable and non-bailable’.
In September this year, the government had brought in an Ordinance making the Triple
The government had said there was a “compelling necessity” and an overpowering urgency to
come with the executive order as the issue of Triple Talaq had nothing to do with ‘religion’ but
it is linked to gender justice and gender equality.
The object and statement also said that “in order to prevent the continued harassment being meted out to the hapless married Muslim women due to ‘Talaq-e-biddat’, urgent suitable legislation was necessary to give some relief to them”.
“Therefore, to protect the rights of married Muslim women who are being divorced by Triple Talaq, a Bill namely, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was introduced in and passed by the Lok Sabha on Dec 28, 2017 and is pending in Rajya Sabha,” the statement said.