Government agrees to send triple talaq bill to select committee: Reports

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 04, 2018, 06.01 AM (IST)

The government has agreed to send the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 -- or the triple talaq bill -- to a select committee, news reports said Thursday. 

The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha last Thursday.

It was tabled yesterday in the Rajya Sabha but did not go through after a united opposition insisted that it be sent to a select committee. 

The Congress, while maintaining that it supports the abolition of triple talaq, has been insisting that the bill be sent to a select committee so that any lacunae in it can be better understood. 

A number of BJP allies and parties friendly to it have been asking for the same thing. 

Also read: Law about justice for women, not religion, says government as it tables triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha

The main point of contention over the bill is the jail term included in it. 

The opposition says the bill turns a civil issue into a criminal one by recommending a jail term extending up to three years for people who continue to use the practice. They add that a man who has been sent to jail cannot provide for his family. 

The practice of triple talaq, which allows a man to divorce his wife by saying the word "talaq" (divorce) three times, was recently struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. 

The BJP has accused the Congress, which did not oppose the passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha, of playing politics over the bill. 

The Congress has accused the BJP of trying to win brownie points over the bill. The bill they say truly needs to help Muslim women, not just be a rubber stamp. 

They add that by criminalising triple talaq, and including a jail term, there is the fear that a future law might be misused. 

The BJP had so far been saying it was hopeful the bill would be passed but it just did not have the numbers in the Rajya Sabha. 

The bill can now only be passed in the next session of parliament, since the winter session of Parliament ends tomorrow.