Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed for a consensus on the triple talaq bill, which aims to criminalise the practice. The Prime Minister made the appeal during the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary party meet ahead of tabling of bill in Parliament.
“The Prime Minister appealed for unanimous passage of the Bill as it aims to give gender justice, protection and respect,” said senior BJP leader and Union minister Ananth Kumar.
The meet was held in the library building of Parliament, and was attended by all MPs of the party.
The Congress party, however, has expressed its reservation on some provisions of the bill. Senior party leader Salman Khurshid said that the Congress has reservations about the criminality clause, questioning as to who would take care of the family if the husband is jailed.
"I don't think we can support it because they didn't made us understand how this criminality of Triple Talaq will benefit women. If someone is lodged in prison as a punishment for saying Triple Talaq, who will take care of his family," he said.
Meanwhile, the BJP has also issued a three line whip to its MPs asking them to be present in Lok Sabha when the government introduces the bill.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will introduce the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights and Marriage) Bill that seeks to protect the rights of married Muslim women and prohibits "any pronouncement (of divorce) by a person upon his wife by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form, or in any other manner".
In a bid to ensure that the introduction is smooth, the BJP is believed to have issued a whip so that any stiff opposition from members on the other side at the introduction stage could be thwarted.
The bill proposes to make the triple talaq practice a punishable offence and describes it against constitutional morality and gender equity.
Anyone who pronounces instant divorce "shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and a fine", the bill proposes.
Meanwhile, clerics and several Muslim organisations, cutting across sects and schools of jurisprudence, have opposed the bill, terming the government`s stand as "uncalled for interference" in the personal laws of the community.
On Wednesday, some Muslim women's organisations said that the proposed legislation would not be acceptable if not in consonance with the Quran or the Constitution.