New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the contentious bill making instant triple illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband, a development hailed by the government as “historic”.
The bill was passed after the House rejected a string of amendments moved by various opposition members.
MPs from the RJD, AIMIM, BJD, AIADMK and All India Muslim League opposed the bill, calling it arbitrary in nature and a faulty proposal.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e- biddat’. It gives power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children. A victim can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate.
Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be illegal and void.
The bill will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha for passage before it is forwarded to the President for signing it into law.
The bill is likely to sail through the Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks majority, given the Congress’s stated support to the legislation.
Earlier Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, calling it a “historic day” amid opposition to its introduction by members of different parties, including RJD, AIMIM, BJD and All India Muslim League.
The law is about justice and respect for women and is not about any religion or community, he said, adding that the practice of instant triple has continued despite the Supreme Court order terming it void.
Parliament has to decide whether the victims of triple talaq have fundamental rights or not, he said after some opposition members claimed it violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
“It is a historic day. We are making history today,” Prasad said.
According to the proposed law which would be applicable to the entire country except Jammu and Kashmir, giving instant talaq would attract a jail term of three years and a fine. It would be a non-bailable offence.