Dhaka, July 26 (UNB)- Lok Sabha passed the bill of ‘Triple talaq’, a customary practice among Muslim that dissolves a marriage when the husband says the word ‘talaq’ thrice, after a day-long heated battle on Thursday that also witnessed a walkout by BJP ally Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JDU).
The JDU said such law would create a “lack of trust in the society”, reports NDTV.
Two other opposition parties – the Congress and the Trinamool Congress – walked out after the vote. The bill was passed by a division of 302 votes in favour and 78 against.
The bill now faces the Rajya Sabha test. Most of the fence-sitters who sided with the government today in the Rajya Sabha over amendments to the landmark Right to Information Act, have said they oppose the bill on Triple Talaq.
Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSR Congress earlier declared that they would object to the bill in the Rajya Sabha.
The new law provides for a jail term for Muslim men who can get an instant divorce by uttering “Talaq” thrice, which the opposition say is unacceptable and want the bill to be referred to a select parliamentary committee for further scrutiny.
The government contends that the bill is vital for promoting gender equity. Central ministers have gone public saying it is tied to the Prime Minister’s new motto of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas”.
Introducing the bill, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was about gender justice. “Twenty Muslim countries in the world, including Pakistan and Malaysia, have banned the triple talaq. Why can’t a secular India do it?” he said.
The practice of triple talaq had continued despite the Supreme Court calling it illegal and unconstitutional two years ago. Several hundred cases have been reported since, he said.
The opposition parties have repeatedly questioned the government’s motive in rushing the bill. K Suresh, the Chief Whip of Congress in Lok Sabha, alleged that the government had kept the bill’s introduction “a secret”.
The government said the opposition was politicizing the issue. “Don’t look at this issue through political lenses. This is an issue of justice and humanity… an issue of women rights and empowerment… we can’t abandon our Muslim sisters,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
On Wednesday, the opposition, at a meeting chaired by Congress’s Sonia Gandhi, decided to hold a planned boycott of the ongoing parliament session over the government’s refusal to send some controversial bills for further scrutiny. The list is headed by the Triple Talaq bill.