Update at 10:32 AM: Follow LIVE updates on the Triple Talaq bill here.
Update at 10:03 AM: As per sources, the Congress has decided to oppose the bill in the Lok Sabha. Shashi Tharoor and Adhiranjan Chowdhary to bring a motion seeking to disapprove the Triple Talaq ordinance
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 will be discussed in the Lok Sabha on December 27. Here is an all you need to know about the Triple Talaq Bill.
What will happen tomorrow:
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will move the Bill to protect the rights of married Muslim women and to prohibit divorce by pronouncing talaq by their husbands for consideration. The amendments with regards to the Bill will also be moved. He will also move that the Bill be passed in the Lok Sabha.
The Bill will be taken up for discussion in the lower house. If the discussion goes on smoothly, there will be voting to pass the Bill. For the Bill to be passed it needs more than half the strength of the lower house, which is 545 votes. Since the BJP has the majority in the Lok Sabha with 268 members, and its allies such as the Shiv Sena support the Bill, it could be passed in the lower house of the Parliament.
What is the Triple Talaq Bill about:
The fresh Triple Talaq Bill aims to make the practice of instant triple talaq among Muslims an offence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) with the provision of three-year jail for the husband.
Instant 'triple talaq', also known as 'talaq-e-biddat', is an instant divorce whereby a Muslim man can legally divorce his wife by pronouncing 'talaq' three times in one go.
What has happened so far:
An earlier bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in 2017 and was pending in the Rajya Sabha. But amid opposition by some parties in the Upper House, the government had then cleared some amendments, including the introduction of a provision of bail, to make it more acceptable.
But as the bill continued to face resistance in the Rajya Sabha, the government issued an ordinance in September, incorporating amendments.
The Triple Talaq Ordinance:
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance was notified on September 19, hours after the Union Cabinet had cleared it. Under the ordinance, instant 'triple talaq' had been declared as illegal and void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.
Seeking to allay the fears that the proposed law could be misused, the government has also included certain safeguards, such as adding a provision of bail for the accused before the trial.
What is the need for the Bill to be passed:
The Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 17, will replace the Ordinance issued by the Central government in September, banning the instant triple talaq.
An ordinance has a life of six months. But from the day a session begins, it has to be replaced by a bill which should be passed by Parliament within 42 days (six weeks), else it lapses.
There was ruckus in the Parliament since the Winter Session began, but the Congress has now assured that the Opposition party will allow for smooth discussion of the Bill. Hence there is hope that there will be smooth discussion on the Bill.
What will happen if the Bill does not get passed:
The government is at liberty to re-promulgate the Ordinance if the Bill fails to get through Parliament.
What stance parties are likely to take:
SP, BJD, DMK, AIADMK, TMC, TDP, AIMIM are all likely to oppose the Bill.
The Congress which had supported the Bill in the Lok Sabha last time had opposed it in the Rajya Sabha.
The Congress, NCP, Biju Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, TMC have all opposed the triple talaq in its earlier version.
BJP’s ally AIADMK had also opposed the previous version of the Bill in the Rajya Sabha saying it had wanted the Centre to remove the provision of three-year jail term for offending husbands.
But as mentioned earlier, if the lower house goes to vote for the Bill, it can be passed as the BJP and its allies have the numbers and the party has issued a whip to its lawmakers to be present when the Bill will be discussed on the Lok Sabha.
(With inputs from agencies)