LS Passes Triple Talaq Bill: How the Debate Unfolded in Parliament

The Lok Sabha passed the bill criminalising instant triple talaq. Here’s what lawmakers said in Parliament. 

3 min read

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam
Video Producer: Anubhav Mishra

The Triple Talaq Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on Thursday, 27 December, amid ruckus from the Opposition after Congress and AIADMK staged a walkout when the Speaker refused to refer the bill to a Joint Select Committee.

The Lok Sabha had resumed at 2 pm on Thursday to discuss the politically-sensitive bill.

Here’s how the debate unfolded in Parliament:

Govt Shouldn’t Interfere in Religious Matters: Mallikarjun Kharge

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge appealed the government to refrain from interfering in religious matters. "We will discuss the bill. The government shouldn't interfere in religious matters," Kharge said, citing Article 25 of the Constitution.

The government, he said, is interfering in every religious matter. "We will ask all parties about the bill, on whether there are problems with it. We will see if sending it to a parliamentary committee is the solution," news agency PTI quoted him as saying.

Purpose of the Bill Was to ‘Penalise’ Muslim Men: Congress’ Sushmita Dev

Opposing the Triple Talaq Bill in its current form, Congress MP Sushmita Dev told the Lower House that the real purpose of the bill was not to empower Muslim women but to ‘penalise’ Muslim men.

Demanding that the bill be referred to a parliamentary committee, Dev said criminalisation of triple talaq goes against the Supreme Court verdict.

Not About Politics but Empowerment & Justice for Women: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Triple Talaq Bill, which seeks imprisonment for men accused of instant divorce, is not about politics. It’s about empowerment and justice for women, he said.

"Don't weigh the bill on the scales of politics. The bill is about humanity and justice," Prasad said, urging lawmakers of different parties to speak in one voice to support the legislation.

Important to Instill Fear: Naqvi

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi defended the penal provision in the Triple Talaq Bill, saying that it is important to instill fear in the minds of the accused and rejecting suggestions that it was against any religion.

During the debate, the minority affairs minister said that acts like murder are against the law but people still commit such crimes, and hence, there is a provision for punishment in the Triple Talaq Bill.

This is not to victimise anyone but to provide safety and protection to Muslim women, he said.

If Parliament Can Ban Dowry, It Can Also Ban Triple Talaq: Smriti Irani

Union Minister Smriti Irani said that if Parliament can enact laws to ban dowry and the practice of sati, it can also approve the bill to ban instant triple talaq.

She slammed the Congress for its missed opportunities to bring a similar law when it was in power, PTI reported.

She said there were suggestions that dowry is a social issue between two parties. "Still Parliament enacted a law against it... it brought a law against the practice of sati," she said.

Won’t Forfeit Our Religion: Owaisi

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi questioned the intention of the government behind criminalising triple talaq.

"Why have you decriminalised homosexuality and criminalising triple talaq? Because it would be used against us. Sexual minority got a choice in Section 377, then why not religious minorities," Owaisi asked.

He questioned that if adultery had been decriminalised and there was nothing to stop men from indulging in extra marital affairs, then why was triple talaq being made a criminal offence.

"If your faith is your faith, then my faith should also be my faith. Your (government) intentions are not clean. You can bring your own law, but we will not forfeit our religion," Owaisi said.

What About Marital Rape: Supriya Sule

NCP leader Supriya Sule asked the government why it had adopted the ordinance route to implement the law and suggested that the bill be sent to a parliamentary panel that could give its report within 2 weeks.

She suggested that instead of the Triple Talaq Bill, the government should bring in legislation like the women reservation bill and a law against marital rape.

Vote Bank Politics on BJP’s Mind: Dharmendra Yadav

SP leader Dharmendra Yadav said the BJP government has brought this bill keeping in mind vote bank politics. Since the Supreme Court has already said that triple talaq is illegal, there was no need to bring a separate law, he said.

Bill Shows Dictatorship of the Govt: RJD Leader

Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav of RJD said the bill shows the dictatorship of the government. While marriage and divorce are civil matters, it is being made a criminal offence, he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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