New Delhi: Lack of numbers and consensus in the Rajya Sabha may force the Centre to send the Triple Talaq Bill to a Select Committee of the House.
The Bill, which criminalises instant divorce among Muslims with a three year penal provision, was passed by the Lok Sabha last week. Most of the opposition parties, including the Congress, had supported the passage of the Bill in the lower house with some reservations.
BJP’s absolute majority in the Lok Sabha helped the ruling dispensation in the easy passage of legislation. The statute when brought to the Rajya Sabha faced some stiff resistance on Wednesday when a collective opposition insisted on sending the Bill to the Select Committee.
A motion to this effect was moved by Anand Sharma of the Congress and Sukhendu Shekhar Roy of the Trinamool Congress.
The government’s position on the issue was articulated by Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The BJP accused the opposition of impeding a “progressive legislation” which was passed and supported by the Congress in the LS. The government accused the opposition of showing double standards.
"The Bill should not be referred to a select committee because two of the SC judges who said it was not unconsitutional but held it to be unfair, used their extraordinary power to suspend this practice for six months and the period would be over in February. It was suspended under Article 142. The court ‘beseeched’ all political parties and asked a law to be brought in", Jaitley said in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
But with smaller regional parties like DMK, NCP, BJD, TMC and SP joining hands in seeking larger consultations, the government may, it seems, finally concede.
The Select Committee with members from all major parties may delve into the legislation and present its report in the Budget Session of Parliament.
Based on the recommendation of the committee, the government may amend the Bill in its attempt to seek larger consensus on the issue.