Triple talaq bill passed by Rajya Sabha: Modi terms proposed law 'victory for gender justice'; Congress says it is 'historic mistake'

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.

On a similar note, President Ram Nath Kovind termed the passage of the bill as a 'milestone in the quest for gender justice.'

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad congratulated the prime minister for fulfilling his promise to Muslim women. "No more Talaq-Talaq-Talaq!" he said.

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'.

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."

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."

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.

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.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 30, 2019 22:13:16 IST