New Delhi: The Lok Sabha today passed with a voice vote a bill that criminalises triple talaq (instant divorce) amid cheers by the various Muslim women rights groups.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 provides for three years of imprisonment for Muslim husbands after the government rejected an overwhelming demand from the Opposition to refer the legislation to a Parliamentary standing committee for detailed consideration.
This came after the Government introduced in the Lok Sabha the Triple Talaq Bill months after the Supreme Court struck down the Muslim practice of instant divorce.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tabled the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, which criminalises the practice of instant triple talaq among Muslims.
He said the Bill upholds the right of Muslim women.
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a consensus in passage of the Bill on making instant triple talaq a punishable offence.
However, a section of the opposition, including the AIADMK and BJD opposed the Bill.
According to reports, the ruling BJP had issued a whip in the lower House, asking all of its members to be present to ensure the smooth passage to the Bill for enactment, a debate on which will take place till Friday.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 criminalises instant triple talaq and imposes a prison term of up to three years and fine on husbands who violate the law.
It also seeks to provide alimony for the woman on whom instant triple talaq has been pronounced and grant her the custody of her children.
In August, three of five judges of a Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court said the practice of saying “talaq” three times in one go – sometimes even over email and WhatsApp – violated women’s right to equality and was not integral to Islam.