The government on Tuesday re-issued an ordinance on the Triple Talaq Bill after it failed to clear parliament in the last session before the Lok Sabha elections due by May. "The cabinet has given its nod to the triple talaq ordinance," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today. Once signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, the triple talaq ordinance will come into force for the third time in less than a year.
The Triple Talaq Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 27 last year with 245 votes in favour and 11 against it. The opposition parties want the Bill to be sent to the select committee of parliament for further vetting, a demand rejected by the centre.
However, an ordinance was re-promulgated in January this year as the revised Bill to make instant "triple talaq" - a practice among Muslim men to instantly divorce their wives by uttering "talaq" or divorce thrice - a punishable offence could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha where the government lacks majority.
The Bill is set to lapse on June 3 when the term of the present Lok Sabha ends, as it could not be passed in Rajya Sabha, which adjourned indefinitely on February 13.
The Budget session was the last parliament session of the NDA government. Bills introduced in the Rajya Sabha and pending there do not lapse with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha, but bills passed by the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha lapse.
The Congress and other opposition parties have said they will strike down the proposed law if they come to power after the national elections. The Congress opposes stringent provisions like jail term for those convicted under the law.
Demanding the formation of a select committee to scrutinise the Bill, the Congress says a criminal angle cannot be introduced in a civil matter, especially when there is no punishment for desertion in any other religion.
The NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has alleged the Congress's resistance to the bill was a form of appeasement.
Calling instant divorce unconstitutional in August last year, the Supreme Court had told the Modi government to frame a new divorce legislation.
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