Rajya Sabha To Consider Triple Talaq Bill Tomorrow

Rajya Sabha To Consider Triple Talaq Bill Tomorrow

The Rajya Sabha will consider the "Muslim Women(Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2018", commonly known as Triple Talaq Bill, for passing tomorrow.

The Bill was cleared by Lok Sabha on Thursday.

It declares pronouncement of talaq, including in written or electronic form,a punishable offence which can lead to imprisonment up to three years and fine. Talaq for the purposes of the Bill means "talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband".

The passage of the Bill in Lok Sabha had witnessed intense debates, with several opposition members questioning the rationale behind criminalisation of talaq, which is essentially a civil wrong. N K Premachandran, MP from RSP and Asaduddin Owaisi, MP from AIMIM, voiced the apprheneshion that the stringent provisions of the bill will be used to target Muslim men. Since triple talaq has been declared to be void by the Supreme Court, there was no purpose achieved by criminalising it, they argued.

Despite their vehement opposition, the Bill was passed with the support of 245 members. Members of Congress, AIADMK and Trinamool Congress staged a walk out.

The bill is listed in the Rajya Sabha's legislative agenda for Monday.

The ruling BJP has issued a whip in the upper house asking its members to be present.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary K.C. Venugopal told reporters in Kochi on Saturday the party would join hands with others to prevent the bill from getting passed in the House.

Rajaya Sabha MPs Binoy Viswam and K Somaprasad from CPI and Elamaram Kareem from CPI(M) have written to the Chairman requesting to refer the Bill to a Select Committee before consideration and passing.

The Lok Sabha had passed the Triple Talaq Bill in last year's winter session during December 2017. After the Bill got blocked in Rajya Sabha in the monsoon session, the Government brought in an Ordinance in September 2018.

The present Bill to replace the ordiance was introduced in Lok Sabha by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on December 17, 2018.

The present Bill changed some of the contentious provisions in the earlier Bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2017. As per the earlier version, the offence was cognizable, which meant that anyone could have lodged FIR in respect of the practise. Also, the offences were non-bailable and non-compoundable as per the previous Bill.

As per the present Bill, cognizance of the offence can be taken only on complaint is lodged by the victim wife or her close blood relatives. Also, the offence will be compoundable at the instance of the wife on such terms and conditions as deemed fit by the Magistrate. The offence is also bailable, and Magistrate can grant bail, but only after hearing the wife. The Bill provides for grant of custody of the minor child to the wife, and also maintenance suitably determined by the Magistrate.

In August 2017, the Supreme Court had declared the practise of 'triple talaq' to be unconstitutional, by 3:2 majority.

(With PTI Inputs)