Opposition wants talaq Bill vetted

Ravi Shankar Prasad outside Parliament on Friday.

Ravi Shankar Prasad outside Parliament on Friday.   | Photo Credit: PTI


12 parties get ready to move a resolution to send the Bill to select committee

The Opposition in the Rajya Sabha is planning to move a resolution to send the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which criminalises the practice of triple talaq, to a select committee.

The Lok Sabha passed the Bill on Thursday after a heated debate, for the second time in less than a year.

Sources said at least 12 Opposition parties would sign up for the resolution. Among these parties is the Congress that has 50 members, the second highest in the Rajya Sabha.

The government’s usual ally, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazgham, is also opposed to the Bill. The party walked out before the voting on the Bill in the Lok Sabha. “If this government thinks it can bulldoze all legislation through, we will not let that happen. All institutions are being destroyed, including parliamentary procedures. We are not going into the merits and demerits of the Bill, we want it to go for further scrutiny,” said Derek O’Brien, leader of the Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party.

The Opposition moved a similar resolution on January 3 this year to send the earlier Bill to a select committee. The government later introduced an amended Bill that made triple talaq a bailable offence. But the amendment cut no ice with the Opposition.

“Let the Law Minister spell out one reasonable ground for not sending the Bill to a select committee. If they say it will consume time, it is shocking. Since January the government had slept, and now it is citing paucity of time,” NCP member Majeed Memon said. However, the Opposition agreed that the select committee would work under a strict deadline.

Minister confident

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad appeared confident. “I appreciate the maturity of the Rajya Sabha and the sensitivity of the issue. We believe we will get support in the Rajya Sabha,” he said.

The Lok Sabha passed the Bill, with 245 members voting in its favour and 11 against. Most Opposition parties walked out, including the Congress. In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition claims it has 116 members who will oppose the Bill, excluding 13 AIADMK MPs.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 3:31:21 PM |

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