New Delhi: Union Minister Arun Jaitley slammed the Congress on Wednesday over the triple talaq bill and said that it does not want the bill to be passed in the Rajya Sabha.
He added that the support that the Congress' support to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was a sham.
"It is clear that the Congress Party is opposing the triple talaq bill. The support they extended in Lok Sabha was a sham. Today was a golden moment for the House to end the injustice, but because of Congress it could not happen," Jaitley said.
The government on Wednesday tabled the triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha amid uproar, with the Congress and other Opposition parties demanding that it be referred to a Parliamentary panel for detailed consideration.
As Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tabled the bill, 2017 that seeks to criminalise instant triple talaq, Congress leader Anand Sharma moved a notice stating that the legislation be referred to a select committee.
The minister objected saying the Congress was stalling the bill and not understanding the urgency to enact the law that criminalises the practice of instant triple talaq and imposes a jail term of up to three years on the guilty husband. The bill has been cleared by the Lok Sabha.
Prasad said "the practice continues" even after the triple talaq bill was passed in the Lok Sabha and cited an alleged case of a woman in Moradabad who was divorced instantly over dowry.
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) January 3, 2018
Sharma argued the bill had shortcomings and needed to be referred to a panel to clear them.
"The rule is very clear. If the member in charge moves the bill, it will be taken into consideration. I move the following motion that this House being strongly committed to women`s rights wants to refer the bill to a select committee," said Sharma, also a member of the Business Advisory Committee.
Name of 17 Rajya Sabha MPs including Renuka Chowdhury, K Rahman Khan, Derek O Brien, Javed Ahmad, Majeed Memon, KK Ragesh, D Raja proposed to be members of Select Committee in the notice sent by Congress' Anand Sharma #TripleTalaqBill pic.twitter.com/aExOfiFMnL
— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2018
Jaitley, who is also the Leader of the House, mounted a strong defence of the government saying the bill had already been circulated two to three days in advance.
"Notice for consideration of an amendment has to be given at least one day ahead. This motion was not given one day before," he said.
My intervention in Rajya Sabha with respect to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage ) Bill, 2017, January 3, 2018 https://t.co/U6DNrS3Q4o
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) January 3, 2018
The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 28, 2017, making instant triple illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband. The bill was passed after the House rejected a string of amendments moved by various Opposition members.
MPs from the RJD, AIMIM, BJD, AIADMK and All India Muslim League had opposed the bill, calling it arbitrary in nature and a faulty proposal.
The bill would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or 'talaq-e- biddat'. It gives power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking 'subsistence allowance' for herself and minor children. A victim can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate.
Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form - spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp - would be illegal and void.
(With IANS and PTI inputs)