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Lok Sabha passes Triple Talaq Bill after over four hours of debate

The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 17 to replace an ordinance issued in September.

ET Online|
Updated: Dec 27, 2018, 07.33 PM IST
Lok Sabha passes triple talaq bill; Congress, AIADMK stage walkout
Lok Sabha passes triple talaq bill; Congress, AIADMK stage walkout
Lok Sabha today passed the Triple Talaq bill after government refused to refer the bill to joint select committee of the Parliament. 245 Lok Sabha MPs voted in favour of the bill, while 11 members voted against it. Before the start of the voting, Congress and AIADMK staged a walk out from the House opposing certain provisions of the bill that makes instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence, with a jail term of up to three years with a fine.

Opposition pitched for referring the triple talaq bill to a joint panel of Parliament, claiming its provisions were unconstitutional and that there was a need for a greater scrutiny of the draft law, but the government rejected the demand.

The bill makes instant triple talaq a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years' imprisonment with a fine. The offence will be cognizable if information relating to the offence is given by the married woman against whom talaq has been pronounced or any person related to her by blood or marriage.

Bill will now be send to Rajya Sabha for debate. Passage of the bill in the upper house would not be easy for the government as it needs 123 votes and the Opposition including Congress, BJD, AIADMK, SP have already rejected the bill in the lower House. NDA parties have around 80 seats in Rajya Sabha.

If passed by Rajya Sabha, the proposed law would be applicable to the entire country, except in Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier in the day, the government rejected opposition's claim that the bill to penalise the practice of instant triple talaq by Muslim men was aimed at targeting any community.

Replying to a debate on the triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that the opposition was not supporting the bill due to "vote bank politics".

He said that sufficient safeguards such as provision of bail have been added to ensure that the draft law is not misused.

The fresh Bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 17 to replace an ordinance issued in September.

Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.

The fresh bill is proposed to supersede an earlier bill passed in the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The earlier bill was approved by the Lower House.

But amid opposition by some parties in the upper house, the government had then cleared some amendments, including introduction of a provision of bail, to make it more acceptable.

(Inputs from PTI)

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