No easy passage for triple talaq Bill

Notwithstanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 will be passed, the numbers are stacked against the legislation in the Rajya Sabha. The new triple talaq Bill that makes the offence (of resorting to triple talaq) a bailable one is slated to be debated in the Lok Sabha on Thursday and is expected to be cleared by that House. The Opposition, however, is hoping to stall it once again in the Upper House with positions of most of the political parties largely unchanged. The Congress maintained that as triple talaq has been outlawed by the Supreme Court’s verdict, the legislation has no legal validity. The party also said that marriage was a civil contract and any breach of it could not be deemed criminal. “The whole aim of the BJP government is to signal to Muslim women, that they care for them. The reality is that the situation will only worsen. They are pushing the Bill only because of their anti-Muslim streak,” Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Gowda said. The Congress is the second largest party in the Rajya Sabha with 50 members. NCP MP Majeed Memon echoed Mr. Gowda. . “Under the existing law, a husband can pay maintenance only if he is in a position to earn. Now if you put him behind bars, how will he make a living?” he said. The Samajwadi Party with its 13 members is also opposed to the legislation. SP Rajya Sabha member Javed Ali said the amendment introduced in the Bill was an “eye-wash”. Interestingly, the BJP’s ally in the Upper House, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) too is opposed to the Bill. “The Supreme Court judgment striking down triple talaq makes this Bill meaningless. This is only to harass the Muslim man ,” party leader in the Rajya Sabha A. Navaneethakrishnan said. The Biju Janata Dal, which has on more than one occasion rescued the government’s controversial legislation, is backing the Bill in Rajya Sabha. The government also faces a technical glitch. . Last December, the Lok Sabha cleared a sterner version of the Bill which is still pending in Rajya Sabha. There is an unresolved motion moved by the Congress and Trinamool Congress to send the Bill to a select committee for consideration. This will have to be disposed of first before taking up the new Bill. Recommended for you

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