- PM Modi panned the Congress for finding faults with the triple talaq bill
- Congress argued if a man goes to jail, how will he provide for his family
- PM Modi said that logic could be used to argue against any criminal law
The NDA government had last year drafted the Muslim Women Protection of Rights in Marriage Bill 2017 to make the instant "triple talaq" a criminal offence. It had proposed up to three years in jail as punishment for a Muslim man who seeks to divorce his wife by saying "talaq" thrice.
The bill, drafted months after the Supreme Court declared the triple talaq illegal, had cleared the Lok Sabha but was put on hold after the Congress and other opposition parties made it clear that they insisted on sending it to a parliamentary committee for review. Some Congress lawmakers had argued that if a man who abandons his family goes to jail, he will not be able to provide for them.
PM Modi said the logic advanced by many people against the triple talaq law proposed by his government could be stretched to argue against any criminal law.
"If a Hindu marries twice, he goes to jail. There should be punishment for him. You did not think how his family will survive," PM Modi said to thumping of tables from the treasury benches.
"Is there a punishment (for him)," he asked, to underscore the point.
Turning to the Congress, PM Modi also asked the party who had stopped them from "coming up with the kind of a law that you want". The Congress, he said, first had the opportunity to change the law when the matter came before it 30 years back. That is when a minister also spoke out in parliament why triple talaq should go, he said.
"But there were voices against it, politics came into play, your vote-bank was at risk. Suddenly the minister had to go. So did his mission," PM Modi said, an oblique reference to Arif Mohammad Khan's speech in parliament defending the 1985 Supreme Court judgment in the Shah Bano case. Mr Khan had resigned in protest after the government gave in to the campaign against the verdict and enacted the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act.
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