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02 Jan 2018

Triple talaq bill will be tabled in Rajya Sabha today

Triple talaq bill to face RS test

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 criminalizing instant "triple talaq" will be introduced in Rajya Sabha today.

The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha last week. Opposition parties, including Congress, voted in favor of the bill. However, they suggested a series of amendments, which were rejected by the BJP-led NDA government.

Here's all about it.

In context

Triple talaq bill to face RS test

About the Triple talaq bill

Under the bill, a Muslim man who divorces his wife with triple talaq faces a three-year jail-term; he also has to provide maintenance. Instant triple talaq in any form spoken, written or by electronic means such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp is deemed criminal.


What is the oppositions' contention with the bill?

Opposition has urged the government to send the bill to the parliamentary standing committee for consultation. They feel the bill needs to be nuanced as some provisions might end up hurting interests of Muslim women instead of helping them.

There is discomfort over the three-year jail-term and possibility of misusing the bill. Muslim-women groups raised concerns about "maintenance" if husband is sent to jail.

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So, will the bill sail through in RS too?

The bill was passed in the LS amid muted protests. When Congress's Mallikarjun Kharge spoke against the bill, Prasad accused him of "trying to create confusion."

But this was the LS, where BJP has a majority.

In RS, both BJP and Congress have 57 members. Moreover, with otherwise BJP-friendly parties like BJD and AIADMK opposed to the bill, government is in minority.


What does this imply?

Opposition parties will probably decide on a joint strategy to register their opposition to the bill.

They may avoid taking an individual stance fearing isolation even within opposition circles. This is because the government has pitched this bill as being a major step for women's rights and empowerment.

If passed in RS, it will require the president's signature to be made into a law.

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