The BJP led Government of India introduced the Triple Talaq Bill in the Parliament today, and it passed with 245 ayes off the total 256 present in the Lower House. Major opposition parties like Congress, DMK and AIADMK staged a walkout.
(Triple Talaq allows Muslim men to legally divorce his wife by stating the word talaq (the Arabic word for “divorce”) three times in oral, written, or in any electronic form.)
The discussions on the bill lasted for over five hours in the Lok Sabha, most of the Muslim leaders voiced against the bill.
The Triple Talaq Ordinance was signed by the President of India on 19th September 2018, but a bill had to be passed within 6 months in the parliament for it to become a permanent law. If not the ordinance ceases to exist and a new one needs to be issued.
The Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said it was not the governments prerogative to interfere in religious affairs.
During the debate the Congress and the CPI parties wanted the triple talaq bill be to be sent to a joint select committee of the parliament.
Most of the Muslim women in India feel that the Triple Talaq is dangerous, and sexists. “The bill promotes humanity and justice to all women of India”, said the Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Over 20 Islamic nations had already banned the Islamic religious practice Triple Talaq.
The issues raised by opposition parties was on the 3 year jail term clause, and what would happen to the family, wife and kids if their earning husbands were jailed.
Smriti Irani drew comparison to the Hindu tradition dowry, which is a crime today.
Just before the vote in the house the Congress, AIADMK and other opposition parties walked out.
Asaduddin Owaisi’s amendments proposed in the triple talaq bill were voted no in the Lok Sabha, it was about reduction in jail term to 1 year instead of the 3.
The bill now passed in the Lok Sabha, but it’s still not over. The GOI will face stiff competition in the Rajya Sabha (upper house) as the ruling BJP alliance don’t have a majority in the house. The bill will be introduced in the Rajya Sabha in January, 2019.