Even as the Opposition opposed the introduction of Triple Talaq Bill that criminalises Talaq-e-Biddat or instant Triple Talaq in the Lower House of the Parliament, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad gave a fierce argument in favour of the Bill.
While beginning his argument the law minister said that the bill was pending in Rajya Sabha, but because this term of the house ended, as per Constitution, the government is introducing it again. He said that the government introduced it, sought suggestions, made changes and introduced it in December last year. It passed the Lok Sabha then but was not passed by the Rajya Sabha where it lapsed.
Hitting out on the Opposition, Prasad said:
"We are Parliament. We are here to make laws, people have selected us to make laws. Why are we trying to be Courts? Whether the law is right or wrong happens in Courts, we must use our sovereign powers and use them accordingly. It is against Constitutional morality. This is not about politics, not about religion, it is about women rights, women respect, and women justice."
"If even after 70 years of independence, if the victims of Triple Talaq even after the Supreme Court's verdict is not getting justice, then should we not do justice to them? We must think this, Prasad added.
Elaborating on the law proposed by the government, he said:
"The law is to give justice to them. After SC's verdict the data that we have received from various sources that 243 cases of Triple Talaq have been found from 2017 in which 59 is after the judgment. So what can these women do? Should they hang the judgment at their house? Deterrence is necessary. Delhi HC upheld the ordinance, and despite ordinance, there were 52 cases, so this is the case of justice, it is about justice for the women of this nation."
Triple Talaq Bill or Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill was proposed by the government as a result of the Supreme Court’s verdict declaring Talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq unconstitutional in August 2017. The bill proposes to criminalise talaq-e-biddat with a jail term of up to three years and fine. It is made a cognisable offence, if information relating to the offence is given by a married woman against whom talaq has been pronounced or any person related to her by blood or marriage. It also provides for allowance to Muslim women and custody of minor children as determined by the magistrate.
Giving a strong statement in favour of the Bill, the law minister said:
"Article 15 of the Constitution talks about non-discrimination against women. I quote: 'Nothing in this article shall prevent the state from making any special provision for women and children.' Therefore, our government believes it our duty to stand for them, we thought after facing defeat in Lok Sabha polls they (Opposition) would think but no, I request the House to pass it."