In what can be seen as a big achievement for the BJP-led Central government, the Upper House of the Parliament on Tuesday cleared the Muslim Protection Bill, 2019, also known as Triple Talaq Bill, after 4 hours of long debate. The Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha with 99 members voting in favor and 84 voting against the bill in the final division.
The bill was passed amid the uproar from the Opposition demanding to send the bill to select committee. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government, which does not have a clear majority in the Rajya Sabha, managed to push the bill after parties like AIADMK and JD-U staged a walkout. AIADMK has 11 MPs in Rajya Sabha, while JD-U has 6. Naveen Patnaik‘s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supported the bill.
In the meantime, at least 5 from Congress, some MPs from parties like Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, BSP, TRS, and YSRCP also abstain from the voting on the bill. NCP President Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, and Jharna Das Baidya of CPI-M were also absent from the house during voting on the bill.
As soon as the Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu took up the bill for passage, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad slammed the government saying that everyone wants empowerment for women but the bill needs certain modifications. ‘The Bill is for protection of rights on marriage but the real motive is the destruction of families’, he said as quoted by ANI.
Following which the voting on the bill took place and was cleared by the House.
While earlier in the day, Speaking in the upper house of the parliament, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, this issue should be seen with vote bank politics or not even with a political vision. ‘This is an issue of humanity and it is about the issue of the dignity of women and their rights’, Prasad said while introducing the bill in Rajya Sabha.
Further speaking on the bill and the need of the bill, Union Minister said that many Islamic countries have already passed legislation banning the practice, but India as a secular nation has yet not banned the Triple Talaq, said Minister while adding that ‘Today is a historic Day’.
Earlier on July 25, The lower house of the Parliament, Lok Sabha, passed the bill to ban triple talaq, with the Union government pressing the need for the bill as hundreds of cases of instant divorce have come to the fore despite Supreme Court declaring it ‘illegal’.
Now the bill will become a law after the President’s approval.
The Triple Talaq Bill, Muslim Women Protection Bill, aimed to protect the rights of the married women by prohibiting the practice. 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. It should be noted that the earlier bill doesn’t have the provision of Bail.
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