All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday questioned the logic behind the government curbing the practice of Triple Talaq while supporting the "decriminalisation" of homosexuality. He termed it as an attack on the rights conferred upon Muslims by the constitution.
"Hundred per cent of the Muslim population is against the move to criminalise Triple Talaq. Why are you criminalising Triple Talaq while supporting the decriminalisation of homosexuality? If sexual minorities can get a choice in Section 377, why can't religious minorities?" he asked during a debate on the controversial bill in the Lok Sabha. Mr Owaisi also criticised a Supreme Court verdict that decriminalised adultery, saying it would result in a spike in extramarital affairs.
"If your faith is your faith, then my faith should also be my faith. Your (the government's) intentions are not pure... You can bring your own law, but we will not forfeit our religion," he declared.
While the centre had held in court that retaining adultery as an offence was necessary to preserve the sanctity of marriage, it left the decision on decriminalising homosexuality to the judiciary's wisdom.
Other opposition leaders questioned the manner in which the government wanted to pass the bill. Nationalist Congress Party leader Supriya Sule wanted to know why the government had taken the ordinance route when the bill should have ideally been sent to a select committee. "Instead of the Triple Talaq bill, the government should empower women through legislations on reservations and marital rape," she said.
Samajwadi Party leader Dharmendra Yadav claimed that the BJP had come up with the bill for political purposes. "There was no need to bring in a separate law, given that the Supreme Court had already ruled that Triple Talaq is illegal," he said.
ET Mohammed Basheer of the Indian Union Muslim League said personal laws are protected by Article 25 of the Constitution. "This legislation is ill-motivated and against our fundamental rights," he added.
The revised bill was eventually passed after a five-hour debate in the Lok Sabha, amid a walkout by the Congress and the AIADMK.