On Thursday, the Lok Sabha passed the highly contentious Bill that makes instant triple talaq a crimil offence and makes it punishable by up to three years of imprisonment for the husband. This is a development that is hailed as “historic” by the government but disapproved by a section of the Opposition. The Bill referred to is the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which was passed by voice vote after rejecting a string of amendments moved by Opposition members. As expected, the support from the Congress to the Bill was conditiol. The party said it supported the Bill, but wanted it to be scrutinized by the Standing Committee of Parliament—a demand that was rejected by the chair. The RJD and the Samajwadi Party also backed the demand of referring the Bill to the Standing Committee. As things are now, the Bill will be sent to the Rajya Sabha before it is sent to the President of India for signing it into law. Things might have been difficult for the Bill in the Rajya Sabha where the government lacks majority. But the Congress has assured support for the Bill, and so there should be no problem getting it through the Upper House as well. However, it is quite possible that the Congress might insist on referring the Bill to the Standing Committee. There are two reasons why the passage of the Bill through the Rajya Sabha too should not be a major problem. The first one is that instant triple talaq is a device for divorce that should have been struck down long ago by any civilized society. It is a means of securing divorce that relies solely on impulse and whim. The second is that it is a means of securing divorce that is restricted to men alone and not available to women. The world’s largest democracy should have nothing to do with a flawed law that ought to be replaced by more logical, ratiol and uniform means of securing divorce to one and all in the world’s largest democracy.
An End to Triple Talaq