Parliament today passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019. The upper house earlier rejected the motion to send the contentious triple talaq bill - that makes instant triple talaq a criminal offence - to select committee for further scrutiny. The passage of the bill was supported by a non-aligned Biju Janata Dal, while National Democratic Alliance members Janata Dal United and the AIADMK walked out.
The Upper House passed the bill by 99 votes in favour and 84 against it.
The bill to ban Triple Talaq - the practice of Muslim men instantly divorcing their wives by uttering "talaq" thrice - which failed the the Rajya Sabha test last time, was passed by Lok Sabha last week. The Triple Talaq bill 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 Lok Sabha.
With Rajya Sabha now approving the bill, the practice of instant divorce by Muslim men will be punishable by jail term of up to three years. Once granted assent by the President, the bill will replace an ordinance promulgated last on February 21 to the same effect as the bill.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the bill is about "gender justice, dignity and equality" as he tabled the bill in Rajya Sabha today. To Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, who termed the bill as a politically motivated move to destroy Muslim households with domestic fights, the minister said the Congress leader should think of why his party could never win majority following the peak of 400-plus seats it won in 1984.
The opposition parties say in its current form, the proposed law could be misused to harass Muslims and wanted it to be reviewed by a parliamentary committee.
Here are the highlights on the Parliament session:
Today is a great day for India's democracy.- Amit Shah (@AmitShah) July 30, 2019
I congratulate PM @narendramodi ji for fulfilling his commitment and ensuring a law to ban Triple Talaq, which will free Muslim women from the curse of this regressive practice.
I thank all parties who supported this historic bill.