- The opposition is against the Triple Talaq bill in its current form
- The new law provides for a three-year jail term for Muslim men
- Most opposition parties are opposed to the Bill's stringent provisions
The bill to ban instant Triple Talaq is likely to be taken up for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha today. The opposition is against the bill in its current form, contending that it would end up victimising Muslims. The new law provides for a three-year jail term for Muslim men who get an instant divorce by uttering "Talaq" thrice. The ruling BJP has issued a whip to its lawmakers, asking them to be present in the lower house for the voting.
While the bill is expected to have a smooth passage through Lok Sabha, roadblocks are expected in the upper house. Besides all parties in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, outfits such as Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal and Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSR Congress will object to the bill in the Rajya Sabha. Even BJP ally Nitish Kumar has said his Janata Dal United will oppose it.
Most opposition parties, including the Congress, were opposed to stringent provisions like jail term for the husband. They contended that a penal provision cannot be introduced in a domestic issue that's essentially civil in nature and that the bill, in its current form, would end up victimising the Muslims.
The parties want the bill to be sent to a parliamentary committee for further discussion.
The BJP, which returned with a larger majority than in 2014 in the recently concluded national elections, has repeatedly underscored the need to pass the Triple Talaq bill.
The government contends that the bill is vital for promoting gender equity. Central ministers have gone public saying it is tied to the Prime Minister's new motto of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas".
Obstruction in the Rajya Sabha had stalled the bill earlier this year, when it was presented in parliament during the first tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. The government rejected the demand and the bill had lapsed.
This time, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the government has "taken note of the objections that were earlier raised". But the legislation, he indicated, has to be made as the matter is "about justice".
On Wednesday, the opposition, at a meeting chaired by Congress's Sonia Gandhi, decided to hold a planned boycott of the ongoing parliament session over the government's refusal to send some controversial bills for further scrutiny. The list is headed by the bill on Triple Talaq.