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Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha: Rajya Sabha Rejects Motion To Send Triple Talaq Bill To Select Panel

Although opposition parties oppose the bill, the government maintains that it is a step towards ensuring gender equality and justice.

NEW DELHI: The contentious bill to ban Triple Talaq – the practice of Muslim men instantly divorcing their wives by uttering “talaq” thrice – which failed the the Rajya Sabha test last time, is expected to have a smooth passage today as the opposition to it suddenly crumbled. While Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal supported the bill, the AIADMK and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United walked out. K Chandrashekar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi will abstain, bringing down the majority mark. Several lawmakers from the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Sharad Pawar’s Party are giving the vote a miss. Last week, despite lacking numbers, the government managed to push the contentious amendment to the landmark Right To Information Act through the upper house with the help of most of these parties.

Here are the top 10 updates on the “Triple Talaq” bill:

Introducing the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it concerns “humanity, woman empowerment and gender equality” and should not be seen through a political prism”.

“More than 20 Islamic nations have regulated triple talaq. Saira Bano went to the court in 1986. At the time, the court said, ‘What is wrong in Quran cannot be right in law’,” the minister added.

The strength of the upper house is 241, which dropped to 213 after the walkout by the Janata Dal United and the AIADMK. The TRS said it will boycott the voting. The NDA has 107 members in the Upper House.

Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United, which opposed the bill in the Lok Sabha debate, saying it would “create a lack of trust in society”, walked out of the Rajya Sabha early today. Last evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dialled the Bihar Chief Minister to discuss the flood situation in the state.

The Triple Talaq bill, which seeks a three-year jail term for the husband in cases of instant divorce, could not make it through the upper house earlier this year during the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, although it was passed by the Lok Sabha.

This time, it was passed by the Lok Sabha last week amid a walkout by several opposition parties including the Congress and the Trinamool Congress.

The opposition parties say in its current form, the proposed law could be misused to harass Muslims and want it to be reviewed by a parliamentary committee.

The government maintains the Triple Talaq bill is a step towards ensuring gender equality and justice and that the opposition parties are politicising the issue.The ruling BJP has issued a whip asking its lawmakers to be present in parliament.

Many opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress and the DMK, have questioned the government’s motive behind “rushing” the bill through parliament.

Last Friday, 17 opposition parties wrote to Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu to express anguish over the “hurried” passage of bills in parliament with little or no scrutiny.

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