The controversial triple talaq bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday amid a walkout by the Opposition and the government accusing the Congress of dragging its feet on the legislation and contending that it was for the dignity and respect of women.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 that prohibits divorce by pronouncing talaq thrice in one go was passed with 303 votes in favour and 82 against.
The Bill will now be tabled in the Rajya Sabha, where the opposition is numerically stronger than the ruling alliance.
Members of the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and several other parties staged a walkout over the Bill. The Janata Dal (United), a BJP ally, also opposed the Bill and walked out of the House saying it will create distrust among a particular community.
The controversial bill seeks to make the practice “void and illegal and an offence punishable with imprisonment up to three years and fine”.
Pushing for the passage of the bill in the House, the Union law minister had said that it was a “matter of gender justice”.
“Don’t look at this issue through political lenses. This is an issue of justice and humanity… an issue of women rights and empowerment… we can’t abandon our Muslim sisters,” Prasad said.
“Irrespective of religion, all women are equal in the eyes of law. Why should Muslim women be left to fend for themselves? So many countries are bringing a law against Triple Talaq, then why can’t a secular country like India do it,” he argued.
The Opposition had termed the bill as “discriminatory” that “targets” Muslim men.
Earlier, on June 12, the Union Cabinet approved the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, paving the way for the legislation to be introduced in Parliament.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 will replace an ordinance issued in February by the previous BJP-led NDA government.
The Supreme Court had in August 2017 declared “Triple Talaq” unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which provides for equality before the law and directed the government to enact a law on the issue.