New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Thursday took up the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, for discussion and passage amid protests by the Opposition which demanded that the proposed legislation be sent to the select committee for detailed deliberations.
Moving the Bill for passage, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Bill was not against any community, religion or belief, rather it would ensure justice to women.
“Between January 2018 and December 10, around 477 cases of triple talaq has come to the fore. Even yesterday (Wednesday), such a case from Hyderabad came to our knowledge. That is why we brought an ordinance,” he said.
Pointing out that 20 Islamic countries had banned triple talaq, the Minister asked why a secular nation like India could not have this?
“I request that this should not be looked through the prism of politics. This house made provisions for hanging the rapists. The same House-passed bills against dowry and domestic violence to protect the rights of women. So, why can’t we speak in one voice on this Bill,” he said, urging the House to pass the bill unanimously.
Earlier, the Opposition members protested against moving the Bill and demanded that it be referred to the select committee.
“It’s an important Bill and needs a detailed study. It is also a constitutional matter. It is also related to a specific religion. I request this Bill must be referred to the select committee,” Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said.
His demand was supported by TMC’s Sudip Bandopadhyay, AIADMK’s P. Venugopal, AIMIM’s Asaddudin Owaisi, NCP’s Supriya Sule, RSP’s N.K. Premchandra and AAP’s Bhagwant Mann.
The demand was virtually rejected by the government.
“When the Bill was brought earlier in the House, the Congress members supported and voted in its favour. That time they did not demand the Bill to be sent to select committee,” Prasad said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the Bill was very important. “Seeing the importance of the Bill, there must not be politics over it,” he said.
The Bill was introduced amid din in the Lok Sabha on December 17 by Prasad.
It seeks to replace an ordinance issued earlier for protecting the rights of married Muslim women and prohibiting divorce by pronouncing “talaq” by their husbands.
The ordinance was promulgated in September, making the practice of instant triple talaq an offence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).