Lok Sabha passes Bill to ban instant triple talaq amid walkouts by Congress, TMC, JDU

This is the first draft legislation tabled by the Narendra Modi government in its first session after it took oath of office for a second term in May.

New Delhi, July 25, 2019: After almost a day-long discussion amid walkouts from the Opposition, the Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Triple Talaq Bill, which criminalises instant triple talaq or divorce by Muslim men, with up to three years in jail for the husband.

The Bill on Muslim Women (Protection on Rights of Marriage) was passed by 303 ayes and 82 noes.

JD(U), Trinamool Congress and Congress MPs staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha in protest against the Triple Talaq Bill during the voting session.

During the debate, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the legislation was a must for gender equality and justice as despite an August 2017 Supreme Court verdict striking down the practice of instant triple talaq, women are being divorced by ‘talaq-e-biddat’.

He said, since January 2017, as many as 574 triple talaq cases and since the Supreme Court order, more than 300 such cases were reported by the media.

“Under these circumstances, what should we do? Should we allow Muslim women to be continued to be exploited,” he said.

The law minister said 20 Muslim countries in the world, including Pakistan and Malaysia, have banned the triple talaq. “Why can’t a secular India do it?” he asked.

Several opposition parties have bitterly opposed the legislation like the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the DMK.

NDA ally JD(U) said it will create a lack of trust in the society and walked out of the House on Thursday.

Stating his party does not support the Bill, Rajiv Ranjan Singh was of the view that the government should do all that is necessary to create “awareness among the people of this community (minority).”

The bill now faces the Rajya Sabha test.

(With PTI inputs)

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