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Triple Talaq Bill passed in Lok Sabha; Congress, AIADMK walk out

The revised bill to make Triple Talaq or Instant Divorce[a practice among Muslim men to instantly divorce their wives by uttering “Talaq” thrice] a punishable offence was passed by Lok Sabha on Thursday.

It was passed with a huge margin of 245-11 votes but faces hassle in Rajya Sabha because the government lacks majority there. In Rajya Sabha, all the major non-NDA parties are raising objections and even some allies like JD(U) are not voting in the favour. BJP is the largest party in Rajya Sabha with 73 MPs but it lacks a clear majority even with allies.

The Parliament proceedings witnessed the major opposition parties–Congress, TMC, RJD, NCP and BJD, and others walking out before the voting began. Also, the amendments moved by the opposition were dismissed and the bill was passed by division in Lok Sabha.

The penal clause in the amended ‘Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018’ became the bone of contention between the opposition and the ruling party. The opposition demanded that even the reworked version should be sent to a parliamentary committee for further scrutiny.

The fiery discussions continued for 5 hours where the Opposition blamed the Centre for “targeting of a community” and Centre hitting back with “appeasement of a community” allegations.

BJP MP and Lawyer Meenakshi Lekhi and Congress MP Sushmita Dev shared heated arguments in the Lok Sabha.

Lekhi called the Triple Talaq bill as “restorative and reformative” and a means to empower women. Dev, on the other hand, argued that it is not about empowering a Muslim woman, but only to penalise the Muslim man.

AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi called it an “irony” that homosexuality, adultery (women) have been decriminalised by law but divorce is being criminalised.

BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab opposed the penal provisions in the bill calling imprisonment of the “accused” husband “without any analogical justification”.

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