Lok Sabha passes Triple talaq bill: Reactions

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha, on December 28, passed the instant triple talaq bill that criminalizes the practice and awards three years imprisonment to the husband. The bill was passed after the intense debate as the House rejected a string of amendments proposed by Asaduddin Owaisi, Congress and BJD.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who had tabled the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill called it a “historic day.” Telling that the bill should not be seen through the prism of vote-bank, but from the humanitarian side, Prasad said the bill was “not about religion but about justice and respect for women.” He said that the bill was essential for gender equality and dignity.
“This bill is a historic step towards ensuring dignity for Muslim women. I thank all fellow Parliamentarians who have supported this bill, which will bring a new era of hope and respect in the lives of Muslim women,” BJP Chief Amit Shah said on Twitter. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed confidence that the bill would be passed in Rajya Sabha as well. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that the passage of the bill is a “giant step that will empower women.”
“It is a progressive bill, all parties support it. But there are certain reservations, wanted certain amendments, that is why we insisted it should be should be referred to the Standing Committee but they were in a hurry to pass the bill. Our party will take further steps in Rajya Sabha, will discuss with RS members, will find out a way to reduce the suspicion created by the government,” Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said.
Union Minister M J Akbar also defended the bill and said that it would have far-reaching implications for 9 crore Muslim women living under the “constant fear of being divorced”. Quoting extensively from the Quran, the minister said the holy book requires that Muslim women be given a little more than what is due to them and not less. “For so many years, politics took precedence over women’s rights. A historical step is taken today in Parliament for the empowerment of women with the passing of the #TripleTalaqBill I thank Shri @narendramodi ji & Shri @rsprasad ji for this significant decision,” BJP leader Poonam Mahajan wrote on Twitter.
AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi who had opposed the bill, saying that it violated the fundamental rights questioned the need for a new law. “Triple talaq bill not give justice to Muslim women but will lead to more injustice,” he said after the House was adjourned on Thursday. “We will take whatever steps required through democratic means to amend, improve or scrap it. There is no move to go to court as of now…The bill was brought in a haste,” AIMPLB spokesperson Maulana Khalil-ur-Rehman Sajjad Nomani told PTI.
Congress leader Sushmita Dev who had raised apprehensions about the misuse of the law, said, “SC banned Triple talaq because it believed that a couple should get time for reconciliation. With this bill, offence will be now a non-bailable one. There will be no chance of reconciliation. I had moved an amendment over compensation for Muslim women from the government, it was negated.” She also questioned the hurry behind passing the bill.
Former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav accused the government of “trying to impose its will” by bringing a bill on triple talaq without consulting Islamic scholars. “The government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to impose its will by bringing the bill in the House and offering mere platitudes in its defence.”
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat also criticized the government for passing the bill without enough consultation. “The bill itself is very objectionable, and equally objectionable are the efforts of BJP to push it through parliament without any consultation or discussion with those in whose names the bill is been passed. Instead of looking at civil remedies, the government is trying to look at criminal remedies.” “There are problems with this bill which requires further discussions. One, divorce is not a crime in this country… So therefore if you want to bring it under criminal law, there are many implications of this which requires discussions,” she added.
“The bill was introduced to gain political mileage and not for the interest of Muslims. “If the BJP government had interests of Muslims in mind, it would have engaged all stakeholders in the community to ensure the law benefits them,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
The Shia Waqf Board, meanwhile, called for making the punishment to those indulging in ‘triple talaq’ more stringent. “I have urged the Prime Minister through a letter that a jail term of 10 years to those indulging in triple talaq and lodging a criminal case against them,” Wasim Rizvi, President of the Shia Waqf Board said.
The bill will now be sent to Rajya Sabha before it is forwarded to the President for signing it into law.

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