January 23, 2018

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Suspense clouds fate of triple talaq bill

03 January 2018

Triple talaq bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha.

The government wants the bill to be discussed in the Upper House tomorrow, so that parties opposing it are exposed.

The bill apart from outlawing triple talaq OR talaq-e-biddat also makes it a punishable offence, according to its provisions.

But the biggest bone of contention between the BJP and the opposition is the on the three-year jail term clause for the erring husband. Two of the bigger Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress and Trinamool Congress, as also the Left parties, do not want to be seen to be stalling the bill and expose themselves to accusations of "Muslim appeasement".

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. Congress MPs, they said, would move amendments to the bill, including one for putting the onus on the husband that he had not pronounced instant triple talaq.

The government on Tuesday urged the Congress not to press for amendments to the triple talaq bill, which seeks to criminalise the practice of instant divorce among Muslims, when it comes up for consideration in the Rajya Sabha likely on Wednesday.

According to the sources, leader of opposition in the Upper House Ghulam Nabi Azad has convened a meeting of the leaders of his party (the Congress) as well as other parties in his Parliament chamber, before the bill is taken up.

"We are having continuous talks with the Opposition parties including Congress".

However, owing to the lack of a majority of the government in the Rajya Sabha, there are chances that the Bill may be impeded or blocked. "That can only be done by Parliament", the Congress's deputy leader in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, told The Indian Express.

The triple talaq bill seems to have reunited the opposition, which had fallen apart in the beginning of the winter session.

The Shiv Sena, an ally of the BJP, has also demanded the bill be sent to a select committee. There was, however, no official word from the Congress about the suggestion it was claimed to have made.

Suspense clouds fate of triple talaq bill