The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday approved the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which criminalises instant triple talaq. Earlier, the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 25 July.
When the bill will be enacted, the practice of instant divorce by Muslim men will be punishable by jail term of up to three years.
While members of the ruling BJP hailed the bill as "historic" and said that it will contribute to the empowerment of women, some Opposition leaders termed the triple talaq bill as a 'historic mistake' and alleged that the law was an attack on "Muslim identity and citizenship."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that a historic wrong done to Muslim women has been corrected and an "archaic and medieval practice" confined to the dustbin of history.
"India rejoices today," he said in tweets minutes after Rajya Sabha passed the bill.
Modi said this is a victory of gender justice and will further equality in society, as he expressed his thanks to all parties and MPs who supported its passage. These parties and MPs have risen to the occasion and this step of theirs will forever be remembered in India's history, he said.
This is an occasion to salute the remarkable courage of those Muslim women who have suffered great wrongs just due to the practice of Triple Talaq.
The abolition of Triple Talaq will contribute to women empowerment and give women the dignity they deserve in our society.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 30, 2019
On a similar note, President Ram Nath Kovind termed the passage of the bill as a 'milestone in the quest for gender justice.'
Passage in the Rajya Sabha of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill completes Parliament's approval of ban on the inequitable practice of triple talaq. A milestone in the quest for gender justice; a moment of satisfaction for the entire country #PresidentKovind — President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) July 30, 2019
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad congratulated the prime minister for fulfilling his promise to Muslim women. "No more Talaq-Talaq-Talaq!" he said.
A historic day when the Rajya Sabha passed the #TripleTalaq Bill, earlier passed by Lok Sabha.
Govt of PM @narendramodi has fulfilled its commitment by giving justice to Muslim women.
No more Talaq-Talaq-Talaq!https://t.co/KwNL7OhbJP
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) July 30, 2019
Union home minister Amit Shah said that the passage of the bill had opened the doors of unlimited possibilities for Muslim women and enabled them to participate effectively in 'New India'.
Today is a great day for India’s democracy.
I congratulate PM @narendramodi ji for fulfilling his commitment and ensuring a law to ban Triple Talaq, which will free Muslim women from the curse of this regressive practice.
I thank all parties who supported this historic bill.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) July 30, 2019
He added that the Modi government was dedicated to protecting the rights of women and said that the bill was an important step in this direction. BJP working president JP Nadda thanked the prime minister for the passage of the bill and said that it reflected his commitment to the slogan "Sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas."
यह मुस्लिम महिलाओं के स्वाभिमान एवं सम्मान का संरक्षण कर उनके अधिकारों को सुनिश्चित करने वाला विधेयक है जो मोदी सरकार के 'सबका साथ, सबका विकास, सबका विश्वास' के संकल्प को प्रतिबिंबित करता है। — Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) July 30, 2019
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said in an interview to ANI, "The passing of the triple talaq bill, under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is a proud moment. This is not aimed any community, but is for the dignity of women."
Section of Opposition alleges bill will marginalise Muslim women
Some Opposition leaders questioned the necessity of the bill and said that the bill sought to "punish Muslims." AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi claimed that existing laws such as the Domestic Violence Act extend safeguards to all women and that the current law further marginalises Muslim women.
"Existing laws provided stringent & comprehensive safeguards to all women - regardless of faith. Laws such as Domestic Violence Act provide for multiple remedies to women who may have faced verbal, emotional or physical abuse in a domestic relationship," Owaisi said
The Hyderabad MP alleged that the bill was "another attack on Muslim identity and citizenship."
#TripleTalaqBill should be seen only as one part of many attacks on Muslim identity & citizenship since 2014. Mob violence, police atrocities & mass incarceration won't bog us down
With a firm belief in the Constitution, we've withstood oppression, injustices & denial of rights — Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) July 30, 2019
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti alleged that the bill was an undue interference to punish Muslims and questioned whether it should have been the government's priority.
Fail to understand the need to pass the triple talaq bill especially since the Supreme Court had already declared it illegal. Undue interference seemingly to punish Muslims. Given the current state of the economy, should this really have been a priority? — Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) July 30, 2019
Congress MP Raj Babbar termed the passage of the bill as a "historic mistake".
In a similar vein, senior party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "We had fundamentally supported this bill. We wanted an amendment for the provision of support to Muslim women. Our opposition was on two-three issues. The Supreme Court had struck down triple talaq, you had also struck down down triple talaq through law, then what is the need to criminalise an imaginary thing?"
National Conference chief Omar Abdullah took the opportunity to note that the bill was passed despite the government lacking a majority in the Rajya Sabha.
The floor management of the BJP/NDA in the Rajya Sabha is quite something. So much for the treasury side not having the numbers in the upper house! I’d be amazed if there is a single piece of legislation the Government will struggle with in the Rajya Sabha. https://t.co/qMEXOuxaBu
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) July 30, 2019
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jul 30, 2019 22:13:16 IST