Triple talaq bill to be tabled in Rajya Sabha today, major test for Narendra Modi govt

The bill, which makes instant triple illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband, was passed by the Lower House last week.

Triple talaq bill to be tabled in Rajya Sabha today, major test for Narendra Modi govt

New Delhi: The contentious bill that criminalises instant triple talaq among Muslims, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, is set to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

The bill, which makes instant triple illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband, was passed by the Lower House last week.

 The government, which has been leaving no stone unturned to get the Bill ratified as a law, has issued a three-line whip to its MPs, asking them to be present in Parliament for the next two days. 

The bill gives legal right to Muslim women against talaq-e-biddat or instant Triple Talaq and makes the practice a “cognizable and non-bailable offence”.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill was listed for introduction in the Rajya Sabha by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on January 2, according to the list of business of the Upper House.

However, the bill could not be taken up due to protests and disruptions by the Opposition members on Tuesday.

This bill gives power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking "subsistence allowance" for herself and minor children in the case of instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat.

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.

Meanwhile, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has claimed that various Muslim bodies in the country would move the Supreme Court if the bill is also passed by the Rajya Sabha.

The bill could get stalled in the Rajya Sabha where the government lacks a majority and it may be referred to a parliamentary committee for its review.

But, with the Modi government unwilling to refer it to a parliamentary committee and daring the opposition to oppose the legislation on the floor of the House, the stage is set for a showdown between the Centre and the Congress-led opposition.

Left and regional parties like Samajwadi Party have already declared their opposition to the bill and the focus is on Congress, which seems likely to go with the rest of the opposition.

(With Agency inputs)

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