- The bill was passed in Lok Sabha on Thursday
- Bill faces real test in upper house where government lacks the numbers
- Opposition wants a parliamentary panel to further scrutinise the bill
Here are the Top Ten Points in this big story:
Rajya Sabha got adjourned till January 2 as the Congress demanded the formation of a select committee to scrutinise the bill. The government rejected the demand. The Trinamool Congress has moved a motion for reference of The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2018 to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha.
Ahead of the session, the opposition party leaders met in the parliament building to finalise their strategy for the day and moved a resolution seeking that the bill be sent to a select committee for review.
The opposition is against the bill's provision for a three-year-jail term for the husband, arguing that a criminal angle cannot be introduced in a civil matter, especially when there is no punishment for desertion in any other religion. They also say there is no clarity on who would provide maintenance to the wife once the husband is in jail and argue that such hardline tactics cannot bring a family together.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 was revised after it got stalled by the Rajya Sabha, but the government has not incorporated the changes demanded by the opposition, especially on the penal clause.
The revised bill makes "triple talaq" an offence with a jail term of up to three years and a fine for the husband, and makes the woman entitled to maintenance.
The government's argument that the Supreme Court made Triple Talaq illegal and wanted parliament to pass a bill, has not convinced the opposition, including Naveen Patnaik's BJD and the AIADMK, which have sided with the government earlier on certain issues.
The Congress has argued that the Supreme Court had not asked to make Triple Talaq a punishable offence. When the bill came up for passing in the Lok Sabha last week, the AIADMK had walked out along with the Congress.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is piloting the bill, has said the issue involves the lives of thousands of women and should not be subject to politics. He also stressed that it was not against any particular community.
In September, the government made instant Triple Talaq punishable through an ordinance or executive order. The proposed law is expected to replace the ordinance.
In a landmark verdict in August last year, the Supreme Court found the practice of instant Triple Talaq un-Islamic and "arbitrary", and disagreed that it was an integral part of Islamic religious practice.