Triple talaq bill tabled in Rajya Sabha, govt refuses call for Standing Committee

The Central government tabled the triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha amid ruckus by Congress and other opposition parties.

Triple talaq bill tabled in Rajya Sabha, govt refuses call for Standing Committee

After passing the Lok Sabha hurdle, the Central government on Wednesday tabled the triple talaq bill in Rajya Sabha amid ruckus by Congress and other opposition parties. While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the Congress of raising Dalit violence issue to stall the triple talaq bill, the opposition party hit back calling the government “anti-Dalit”.

As Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tabled the bill in the Upper House, Congress leader Anand Sharma moved a notice stating that the bill be referred to a Standing Committee. He also suggested names of members for the Standing Committee.

Reacting to it, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that a member cannot suddenly move a motion in such manner.

"The house is taken by surprise that a motion is suddenly moved, it has not been submitted a day before. The motion has to be give at least 24 hours in advance," he said.

He further accused the Congress of double standard on the issue of triple talaq bill, saying that the party supported the bill in Lok Sabha but was adopting a different stand on the same in Rajya Sabha. “You are trying to derail the bill,” he added.

Jaitley further explained why the government cannot send the bill to a Standing Committee saying, "Reason why it should not be referred (to select committee) is that when the practice was declared unconstitutional, two of the judges held it as unfair and used their extraordinary power to suspend it for six months, which expire on February 22. Judges said 'we are now suspending it for six months and we beseech all parties, therefore within this period come out with apt legislation'. So, there is an urgency that country expects from Parliament. Legislature must act with sense of responsibility."

Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 11 am on Thursday following the ruckus in the House.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was cleared by the Lok Sabha through a voice vote on December 28, 2017 amid protests by several opposition parties.

The government had then as well rejected an overwhelming demand from the Opposition to refer the legislation to a Parliamentary standing committee for detailed consideration.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was passed by a voice vote after rejecting a resolution moved by Revolutionary Socialist Party member NK Premachandran that the legislation be circulated for public opinion.

According to the proposed law which would be applicable to the entire country except in Jammu and Kashmir, giving instant talaq would attract a jail term of upto three years and a fine. It would be a cognisable, non-bailable offence.

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