After deadlock, talaq bill pushed to Budget session

Ghulam Nabi Azad

As the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day following an uproar by the opposition over the triple talaq bill, Union minister Smriti Zubin Irani said the development exposed the "double standard" of the Congress-led opposition, and wondered why they were running away from a discussion on the bill in the House.

While the opposition demanded that the amendment seeking to send the instant talaq bill to the committee be put to vote, the government questioned the move citing some technical issues. The Triple Talaq Bill or The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill seeks to outlaw Talaq-e-Biddat or instant triple talaq and punish offenders with a jail term.

Blaming Congress for not following parliamentary procedures, Jaitley said the whole country "is watching that in the other House you supported the Bill and here you are trying to derail it". They are not thinking about ensuring justice to the Muslim sisters.

The Congress, in turn, held the ruling BJP responsible for the impasse in Rajya Sabha due to which the bill could not be taken up and accused it of treating Parliament as a "rubber stamp".

The Centre said it is committed to pass the legislation while the Opposition Congress blamed the BJP and its government's ministers for creating a ruckus in the Rajya Sabha so that "Parliament scrutiny" of the Bill gets sabotaged. The Congress wants the bill referred to a standing committee for review, but the government stood firm on opposing that demand. "Congress has repeated history what it did with the Musilm women in 1986", Farah said.

She also objected to the Congress' suggestion of sending the triple talaq bill to a select committee, Farah said, "Why didn't Congress propose to send the bill to a joint committee?"

Although the central government successfully passed the bill in Lok Sabha, it failed to receive consensus in the Upper House.

She, however, said there were some shortcomings in the bill.

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