The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, which criminalises instant triple talaq was on Thursday tabled in the Lok Sabha by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad even as some members accused the bill of violating the fundamental rights of Muslims.
While a majority of parties are supporting the bill, some members including All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that the bill lacked “legal coherence”.
“The bill lacks basic legal coherence… The bill is violating fundamental rights… If the bill is passed, it will be an injustice towards Muslim women,” he said.
“The triple talaq bill violates the Right to Freedom. Muslims were not consulted for this bill,” he added.
BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab too opposed the bill and said: “This bill is flawed, there are many internal contradictions in it.”
However, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the bill was for women’s rights and justice.
“This law is for women’s rights & justice & not regarding any prayer, ritual or religion,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for consensus in passing the bill, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said after the BJP Parliamentary meeting.
The Union government has tabled the bill after days of logjam in both houses over Congress’ demand for apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat assembly election campaign.
The Centre had on Wednesday extended an olive branch to the Congress, as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley clarified that the Prime Minister didn’t question Singh’s commitment to the nation.
Following Jaitley’s statement, the Congress also reciprocated by disapproving Mani Shankar Aiyar’s criticism of the Prime Minister after which the House resumed normal business.
With both sides reaching a truce, the triple talaq bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament without any hurdles.
However, clerics and several Muslim organisations, cutting across sects and schools of jurisprudence, have opposed the bill, terming the government’s stand as “uncalled for interference” in the personal laws of the community.
The AIMPLB has even accused the Centre of not following the laid procedure in drafting the bill, which was against women and children, and if implemented, would destroy many families.
In a historic judgment in August, the Supreme Court had ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims was “void, illegal and unconstitutional”.