Kolkata: Breaking her silence over the triple talaq bill which was recently tabled in the Rajya Sabha, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday described it as "erroneous and defective". Supporters of the bill draw a parallel to Section 498A IPC and bigamy, which are also criminal offences.
In any case, the Congress did not make its stand clear on the issue, till the Supreme Court in August a year ago declared triple talaq illegal. The women at the time of entering into marriage contract can include clauses enabling her to pronounce talaq on man or barring the man from announcing the instant triple talaq.
The Lok Sabha has on thursday passed the controversial bill making instant talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband. Thus, the triple talaq Bill will now come for discussion and passage only in the Budget Session of Parliament. The panel of five judges represent different faiths - Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. "The practice (of triple talaq) was declared unconstitutional on August 22".
Zahid said, "Muslim women, like all Indian women, should have the right to divorce their husband and still enjoy legal protection to lead a better life".
"We have been against the practice of arbitrary triple talaq and want it to go". "The BJP has brought a wrong and defective bill in parliament. This is the only way to expose the double standards of the BJP", he said. Not many Muslim women know they have a right to choose their life partners and put conditions in their marriage contract.
When the law minister again rose to speak, the opposition members objected to him. The Opposition parties hold a majority in the Upper House.
Opposition parties believe that the primary aim of the bill is for the BJP to increase its support among Muslims by appealing to the women in the community.
As noisy scenes and sloganeering continued forcing the chair to finally adjourn the House for the day.
The Congress fiercely fought in the Rajya Sabha to send the bill criminalising instant triple talaq to a select committee for the removal of what it termed glaring anomalies. AIADMK, BJD and TDP are also with us in sending the bill to the select committee.
He, however, exuded confidence that the Congress and other opposition parties would have to support the Bill considering public opinion in the country. "Congress can not oppose the Bill when it is put to vote in the House", a senior BJP leader said. "For the first time breaking all parliamentary convention and procedures, an invalid motion is moved" he added.
Above all politics, it seems the triple talaq bill is in a state of limbo presently. It had, however, said it might be open to accepting some of the amendments to the bill, as suggested by the Opposition. The government created disruptions in the Rajya Sabha. However, we have stipulated that the Select committee on the Bill should submit its report in 25 days'. Last week, the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill by a voice vote rejecting some amendments moved by opposition members.
Though the triple talaq Bill, especially after the Supreme Court verdict, was meant to address gender justice, it has unfortunately become the most raging debate of 2018.
Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury said her party always stood for empowerment of women, right since Independence, but the party needs to see what has been actually included in the Bill.
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