Although opposition parties oppose the bill, the government maintains that it is a step towards ensuring gender equality and justice.
The contentious bill to ban Triple Talaq – the practice of Muslim men to instantly divorce their wives – will take the Rajya Sabha test today. The bill faces strong resistance not only from the opposition parties but from some BJP allies like Nitish Kumar & parties which provide issue-based support. The government is a minority in the Rajya Sabha. But last week, it managed to push through another contentious bill to amend the landmark Right To Information Act with help from parties like Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal, Telangana’s ruling TRS, Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP & Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress. This time, the BJD & the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which were also against the bill, have declared that they would support it in Rajya Sabha.
- The Triple Talaq Bill, which seeks a three-year jail term for the husband in cases of instant divorce, could not make it through the upper house earlier this year during the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, although it was passed by the Lok Sabha.
- The NDA has 107 members in the Upper House. With the support of the Biju Janta Dal & Telangana’s ruling TRS, the bill will have the support of 120 members. The majority mark in the upper house is 121.
- Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United, which has maintained it was against the bill, had said in the Lok Sabha that such a law would create a “lack of trust in the society”. This morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dialled the Bihar Chief Minister to discuss the flood situation in the state.
- The bill — officially known as the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill-2019 — was passed by the Lok Sabha amid a walkout by several opposition parties including the Congress & the Trinamool Congress on July 25.
- The opposition parties say in its current form, the proposed law could be misused to harass Muslims & want it to be reviewed by a parliamentary committee.
- The government maintains the bill is a step towards ensuring gender equality & justice & that the opposition parties are politicising the issue.The ruling BJP has issued a whip mandating the compulsory attendance of its lawmakers to ensure its passage.
- The Congress & other opposition parties have made it compulsory for their members to attend today’s session.
- Many opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress & the DMK, have questioned the government’s motive behind “rushing” the bill through parliament.
- Last Friday, as many as 17 opposition parties wrote to Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu to express anguish over the “hurried” passage of bills in parliament in this session with little or no scrutiny.
- “Don’t look at this issue through the political lens. This is an issue of justice & humanity… an issue of women rights & empowerment… we can’t abandon our Muslim sisters,” said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who introduced the bill in the Lok Sabha last week.