CHENNAI: The DMK today denounced the Centre over the "haste" shown in getting the 'triple talaq' bill passed in the Lok Sabha and wanted it to be referred to a standing committee.
The Lower House of Parliament yesterday passed the contentious Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill that criminalises instant triple talaq and makes it punishable by up to three years imprisonment for the husband.
In a statement, DMK Working President MK Stalin also objected to the "stringent" three-year jail term for men and wanted to know if the BJP government at the Centre was really concerned about the welfare of Muslim women.
"The three-year jail term is unnecessary," he said.
"The haste shown by the BJP government in moving the bill in the Lok Sabha and passing it with a stringent provision of a jail term of three years... It doesn't look like the Centre is concerned about Muslim women," he said.
Questioning the intent of the government on the triple talaq issue, he said the Supreme court had only said that Parliament can enact a law on the matter and there was no mention of awarding a three-year jail term.
Underlining his party's commitment to women's rights, especially Muslim women, Stalin said "questions arise over the government poking its nose into the Shariat law and religious practices and bringing such a bill with haste".
If the Centre was keen about ensuring rights of Muslim women, it should have held consultations with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Muslim groups, he said.
"If the BJP government had no such intentions, it could have sent the bill to a Parliamentary Standing Commitee to elicit views of all party members," he said.
Keeping in mind the country's unity, integrity and the welfare of Muslim women, the government should have sent the bill to a standing committee, he said.
The DMK leader urged the Centre to "at least now refer the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill to a Parliamentary Standing Committee".
While the government hailed the bill as "historic", a section of the Opposition had disapproved of it.
The Lok Sabha passed the bill by voice vote after rejecting a string of amendments moved by opposition members.
The Congress, DMK's ally, had said it supported the bill but wanted it to be scrutinised by a standing committee of Parliament, a demand that was rejected by the Chair.
The RJD and the Samajwadi Party had also backed the demand of referring the bill to a standing committee.