Talaq Bill: Opposition sticks to demand of House scrutiny

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"I am confident that all parties will cooperate in the Rajya Sabha", Pradhan said.

When Soman was asked earlier why women who were given triple talaq (a miniscule number in their research) did not challenge it using an earlier court ruling in Shamim Ara (2002) which has also invalidated triple talaq, she claimed that Muslim women are too poor and can not access the courts for relief.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Opposition wanted the Bill to be sent to a select committee that would help make it strong by offering support to Muslim women and by removing the criminality clause. No-Win for Muslim Women The Bill proposes a jail term of 3-years for Muslim men who resort to instant triple talaq.

Abrar said that in 1980s, moderate and forward looking sections of the Ulema had, under the leadership of the Fiqh Academy, drawn up a blue print for the reform of Muslim society including marriage laws.

"Today they (the government) should have started the proceedings with triple talaq". They are against doing anything by force.

In case Indian government was honest about upholding the rights of women particularly belonging to minority community, it would have made them aware about their rights within and outside their community. The Lok Sabha passed the Bill last week. "We opposed the criminality provision in the Lok Sabha (too)".

Instant divorce or "triple talaq" happens when a Muslim man ends his marriage by simply saying "talaq" (which means "you are divorced" in Arabic) three times in succession. BJP after drawing a wedge between Muslim sects, has now raked up issues of personal relationships in Muslim community. While the Modi government enjoys majority support in the Lok Sabha, the numbers are not favourable to it in the Rajya Sabha, where it has been cornered now by the opposition. They just want to bulldoze their views. But, the Supreme Court never ordered the government to prepare a law for Muslim women without consulting Muslim women. "But who will provide alimony if the husband is sent to jail?"

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that despite Supreme Court banning instant triple talaq, it is still being practised.

"Parliament can not be a rubber stamp of the government", Sharma said.

It is clear that neither side was in a mood to budge, with the pressure on the government by the Opposition relentless.

"The BJP has brought this bill in a hurry to get political mileage and cause communal polarisation", he added. "This will destroy families".

On December 28, without adopting a single amendment suggested by the Opposition parties, as well as refusing to send the bill to the standing committee for detailed consideration, the government bulldozed its passage through the Lok Sabha by sheer strength of its brute majority.

Rejecting the Opposition demand, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said there is no need to go to any committee because the issue has been debated.