The draft bill, officially called Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, says, "any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal". However, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge suggested the bill should be sent to standing committee as it has certain loopholes.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who introduced the bill as part of the listed business, had requested her to allow it to be considered and passed today itself, and the request was granted.
"This bill is insufficient to deal with the anomaly of triple talaq primarily on two counts". India is a secular country, a republic. In the House, Prasad buttressed his case for the bill by citing numerous instances of triple talaq on frivolous grounds despite the apex court's verdict.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress did not oppose the bill.
Echoing similar views, Tathagata Satpathy (BJD) said, "We support the Bill but not the way it is meant to be applied on the ground". Don't get caught up in doubt. "As you are saying it is very important Bill, historic Bill".
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"Our party supports the empowerment of women".
Some felt that the BJP government was in a haste to pass the Bill not because of its concern for Muslim women but because it sees this as a first step towards bringing in a uniform civil code. "The spirit of Quran conveys that not only give women their right but more than that", he said. Prasad said triple talaq practice has inflicted atrocities on Muslim women, "do we close our eyes and keep quite". "That time has come now". Indira could have done it.
He went on to attack and question the credibility of AIMPLB. They wanted the measure to be given up immediately. Who has made them representatives of the Muslim community. No one knows what is Sharia, Talaq-e-Biddat. He also attacked Congress for the position it took in the Shah Bano case of 1985. There is provision for subsistence allowance from the husband for the livelihood and daily supporting needs of the wife as also of the dependent children. "This slogan "Islam khatre mein hai" (Islam is in danger) was used before Independence to divide India and is now being used to divide society. poison is being spread", Akbar said.
Dismissing the bill, it has termed it as government's attempt to make political gains. "We are not looking at it through the prism of a votebank. It is an issue of gender justice, gender parity and gender dignity", said Prasad. The judgement of the Supreme Court needs to be reflected in the Bill. "The police said it had no powers..." Several countries particularly Islamic nations including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Indonesia, Malaysia and Tunisia have regulated this.