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Activists divided over Talaq Bill in Lok Sabha
31 December 2017, 12:52 | Camille Rivera
India works to outlaw 'triple talaq' practice, which allows men to divorce women instantly
The government introduced the Bill in the Lok Sabha on Thursday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an appeal for consensus on criminalizing the practice of Triple Talaq. The Bill provides a jail sentence up to three years for the guilty husband. Opposition members, including of the Congress and Left parties, criticised the government for not consulting stakeholders and for "draconian" penal provision of imprisonment of three years. "The Rajya Sabha window is still open, we hope that the matter is sent to a select committee in the Rajya Sabha".
Similarly, AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi, one of the staunchest opponents of the Bill, pointed out that the Bill is riddled with inconsistencies and loopholes, which are targeted legal discrimination of Muslim men, and thereby putting Muslim women in jeopardy.
Despite demanding a thorough revision of the proposed bill by the opposition parties in the parliament.
The government drafted the Bill after the Supreme Court, in a landmark 3-2 verdict on August 22, set aside the practice of talaq-e-biddat. The SC had passed a judgment saying it was unconstitutional and arbitrary. "See where Islamic nations have reached and see where we are", he asked.
"This Bill is for the rights of the women of our country", Prasad said. "We do not want to interfere in the Sharia".
Lok Sabha today passed the Muslim Women (Protection of rights of marriage) Bill, 2017. "We are all for this Bill but there are certain flaws and difficulties in this", he said. The bill also punishes a man for the same act. "Why you are in so hurry to give empowerment", Kharge asked. Introducing the Bill, he told those opposing it that "yeh kanoon na kisi puja ka hai, na prarthana ka hai, na ibadat ka hai, na majhab ka hai, yeh kanoon naari nyay, naari garima aur naari samman ka hai" (this is not a law for any prayer or religion but it is for justice to women, their dignity and respect). Although the legislation will now have to be cleared by the Upper House of Parliament.
The president of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board, Shaista Amber, welcomed the tabling of the Bill but insisted that it should be in the light of Quran. The AIMPLB is not an elected body and has become a "false voice" of the Muslim community, he said. She said all doors for reconciliation in a marriage would shut once the husband goes to jail.
The bill is aimed at bringing reform in the medical education sector which has been under scrutiny for corruption and unethical practices, government sources have said.
Supporting the passage, Meenakshi Lekhi (BJP) said triple talaq was becoming a social evil and it is a time to firmly deal with this kind of practice. Union Minister M.J. Akbar on Triple talaq bill.
He also alleged that this government is pursuing communal agenda and it seems that it wants to eliminate identity of Muslim in the country.
"This bill is flawed, there are many internal contradictions in the Bill", BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab said.
1pm: Ritabrata Banerjee, who was recently expelled from the CPI (M), demands in the Rajya Sabha that the government declare January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as "Desh Prem Diwas" (Patriotism Day) and a national holiday as a fitting tribute to "the forgotten hero" of the Indian independence struggle. He said that practice of Triple Talaq continued although the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had committed to the Supreme Court that it would issue an advisory against it.
Pointing that the quantum of fine is missing, he said it comes under civil suit and there is no provision for criminality in this. "Cool down", many BJP MPs were heard countering Owaisi. "We know the reason for your anger".
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