Lok Sabha to discuss Triple Talaq Bill today, Govt issues whip to MPs demands full attendance

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The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party on Tuesday issued a three-line whip to all Lok Sabha Members asking them to present in the Lok Sabha for throughout the day for December 27. The whip followed Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s announcement that the central government would push the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, that seeks to criminalize the practice of instant divorce (Triple Talaq) among a section of Muslims Community.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday afternoon will introduce the Triple Talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha. The debate in the lower house is expected to continue for hours.

BJP National Secretary on Wednesday while speaking about the Triple Talaq said, ” It’s a historic decision of PM Modi’s govt to bring this issue of gender justice&equality. Large sections of civil society including Muslims welcomed it, it’s a boon for Muslim women. Matter is before Parliament, I’m sure there’ll be meaningful debate“.

The three line whip issued to MPs indicates the Government’s desire to pass the Bill despite many opposition parties are not in favor. The Bill expected to be tabled on December 27 in the Lower House of the Parliament where it is also expected to go through a vote.

More, Indian National Congress Thursday morning also issued to its MPs to present in the Hosue. Mallikarjun Kharge speaking on the issue said, “We will take part in the discussion and keep forward our opinion. We will appeal to the govt that it should not interfere in a religious matter”

The Bill, as per which instant Divorce practiced among some sects of Muslim, was tabled on 17 December in Lok Sabha in place of an ordinance that was laid out in September this year. The Bill that was tabled last week provides for a three-year jail term for those found guilty of following the practice. It would supersede an earlier bill that the government had managed to get passed in Lok Sabha in December last year. The previous bill sought to make instant divorce a punishable, cognizable and a non-bailable offence. Though the Bill was passed by Lok Sabha it got stuck in the Upper House, Rajya Sabha.

The new Bill will deem the practice ‘illegal’, with the husband supposedly facing a prison sentence of three years. The BJP led government had many amendments to the original Bill after it faced a lot of criticism from opposition parties as the earlier don’t have the provision of Bail.

As per the Indian law, an ordinance, once issued, has a lifespan of six months and it ceases to exist if both houses of the Parliament do not replace it with a Bill with approval from both houses within six weeks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 22 said the Centre was determined to come up with the law despite “obstacles” from opposition parties, according to a report by news agency PTI.

The Apex Court had in August 2017 banned the instant divorce, calling the practice “unconstitutional”.

In another Development, Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor called the proposed “an attempt in cating a class-specific legislation on the grounds of religion, instead of focusing on the larger issue of mistreatment and desertion of wives and dependents”.

While in another Development, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party Chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday met a Delegation of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) members and assured them of all support in their fight against the proposed Muslim Women Bill (Triple Talaq Bill) 2018 in the parliament.

Abutalib Rehmani, member, AIMLP, said, “We wrote a letter to Mamata Banerjee that this time too, she should oppose the bill when it is tabled in the Lok Sabha. I am grateful to Chandrababu Naidu. We met Ashok Gehlot met, Mallikarjun Kharge, Kumaraswamy, and Kamal Nath, all of them are saying that they won’t let a civil law become a criminal law.”

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