LOK Sabha Passes Bill Seeking To Criminalize Talaq –e-Biddat

LOK Sabha has approved a bill seeking to criminalise the practice of instant Talaq –e-Biddat commonly known as Triple Talaq after a prolonged debate. The practice was earlier pronounced as inhuman and against gender equality by a Bench of India’s Supreme Court headed by then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Government tried to convince the Opposition that the evil practice is not mentioned in the Holy Quran and it has been banned by over 20 Islamist nations including India’s neighbours Bangladesh and Pakistan.  The government rejected the contention that it was aimed at targeting a particular community. Congress, TMC, the Left, TDP and AIMIM batted for sending the bill to a Joint Select committee for a fresh look and remove the lacunae .They walked out of the House after their plea was turned down by the government..The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2018 was passed by the Lower House with 245 voting in favour and 11 opposing the legislation. The bill will now go to Rajya Sabha for approval. Piloting the bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that there should be no politics on the bill, stressing that it was not against any particular community.“Don’t weigh the bill on the scales of politics. The bill is about humanity and justice,” he said, urging lawmakers of different parties to speak in one voice to support the legislation. The Opposition parties were creating hurdles in its passage due to “vote bank politics”. The fresh bill will supersede an earlier bill passed in the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill to make the practice of Triple Talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 17 to replace an ordinance issued in September. Under the proposed law, giving instant Triple Talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband. In view of the opposition by some parties in the Rajya Sabha , the government had then cleared some amendments, including introduction of a provision of bail, to make it more acceptable. Several amendments  moved by opposition were negated by a division Responding to demand of opposition parties, including the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, that the bill be sent to a select committee for study, Prasad said the government has already taken note of concerns expressed by members earlier and amended the bill accordingly. Prasad said 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.

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