NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday tabled the triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha amid uproar, with the Congress and other opposition parties demanding that it be reffered to a parliamentary panel for detailed consideration.
As Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tabled the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 that seeks to criminalise instant divorce by uttering talaq thrice, Congress leader Anand Sharma moved a notice stating that the legislation be referred to a select committee.
The Minister objected saying the Congress was stalling the bill and not understanding the urgency to enact the law that criminalises the practice of instant triple talaq and imposes a jail term of up to three years on the guilty husband. The bill has been cleared by the Lok Sabha.
Prasad said "the practice continues" even after the triple talaq bill was passed in the Lok Sabha and cited an alleged case of a woman in Moradabad who was divorced instantly over dowry.
Sharma argued the bill had shortcomings and needed to be referred to a panel to clear them.
"The rule is very clear. If the member in charge moves the bill, it will be taken into consideration. I move the following motion that this House being strongly committed to women's rights wants to refer the bill to (a) Select Committee," said Sharma, also a member of the Business Advisory Committee.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is also the Leader of the House, mounted a strong defence of the government saying the bill had already been circulated two to three days in advance.
"Notice for consideration of an amendment has to be given at least one day ahead. This motion was not given one day before," Jaitley said.