Key Points That Framed the Triple Talaq Debate in Lok Sabha
File photo of MJ Akbar in Parliament.
New Delhi: One of the key elements of the Supreme Court hearing during triple talaq debate was when the then attorney general Mukul Rohtagi submitted before the five judge bench that if the court invalidates the practice, the government would bring a law to secure the rights of women.
That promise came true on Thursday, when the Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Marriage) bill, 2017, without any amendments. A session which went on for a good eight hours had several members putting forth their points.
News18 looks at the key points made by members of the Lok Sabha that defined the Triple Talaq debate:
Ravi Shankar Prasad: Should Muslim Women Hang the SC Verdict in Their Homes?
Today is a historic day. Today, we are creating history and this law is about the pride of women. Even after the Supreme Court has outlawed instant talaq, the practice continues because there is no law against it. We are being asked that when SC has called the practice unconstitutional then how parliament can legislate on it? This bill is about a woman's honour, not religion. Should the Muslim women frame and hang the SC verdict in their homes now?
There have been over 300 cases on triple talaq in 2017 and 100 of them came after the Supreme Court's verdict.
The man will also have to pay maintenance and the custody of the child will be with the mother. This bill should not be viewed from the prism of politics. This bill should not be viewed with any religious motive or vote-bank politics. This bill is for the rights of the women of our country. Even countries like Pakistan have regulated triple talaq. A large number of other Islamic countries have regulated triple talaq as well. If they can do so, why can't we as a secular country do so?
The stand by congress is perplexing and very conditional. On one side they say that we hurried but the important point is being ignored. The Muslim women approached the court thinking that Modi government will support it and we did.
People are still resorting to triple talaq even after the SC verdict, that is why this law. The law is such that since the bill is non bailable and non-compoundable, this means magistrate can give the bail and the magistrate can take a call on maintenance.
We are not looking at this from the lens of politics but from the lens of humanity. The jail is up to three years and quantum of punishment will be decided by the magistrate and we have left it for the court to decide and its conscience.
We are being said that we are breaking families, but when women were being abandoned, this argument found no place. There are penal provisions in other marriage related bills too.
Asaduddin Owaisi: Create a Corpus of Rs 1000 Crore for Muslim Women
My primary objection is twofold: parliaments lacks legislative competence, bill lacks legislative coherence, and it violates Article 15 of the Indian Constitution. Instant talaq has been declared null and void already. It lacks rational nexus as sections under IPC exists. There is also the EP Royappa case of SC to show that the bill is constitutionally not valid. This bill will be injustice to Muslim women.
The government had contended in the court that all talaqs must be abolished. By this law, they are trying to do away with our personal laws. The law minster who is the drafter has failed to distinguish between civil law and criminal law. In section 3, the law minister accepts that triple talaq will be void, then how can you punish him? Something which is void cannot be punished as it has no legal force. The law minister quotes Pakistan, but the Section 61 of the Pakistan law has been stayed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. No Muslim country has a penal provision.
Triple talaq is a verbal emotional abuse and can be punishable under current law. You are demonizing the entire community. Social laws cannot remedy social evils. 90 lakh Non-Muslim children got married and law failed. 23 lakh are non-Muslim abandoned women.
Every hour, three women are raped and five are assaulted. Society needs to be reformed. The minister has brought a bad law. If a Muslim man says talaq thrice, then how is it valid when the court has done away with it? This law will give handle to Muslim men to further subjugate women. They want to achieve their dream of putting Muslims behind the bars. Instead of this bill, the government should create a corpus of Rs 1000 crore for Muslim women ensure more jobs and aim for real upliftment.
MJ Akbar: Atmosphere of Fear Must Be Removed Surrounding the Muslim Women
What is the credibility of All India Muslim Personal Law Board? Who chose them to be community representatives? This slogan 'Islam khatre mein hai' was used before independence to divide India and is now being used to divide society, poison is being spread. You change law easily when it comes to men but you remember Allah when it comes to women
Surah 24 Verse 5 of the Quran says that those who make false allegation against a woman will not be spared. Woman will have rights similar to rights equal to that of the men. Even the Surah 226 and 228 of Quran states that you cannot make a law against a woman.
The new argument is that since Islam has a contract of marriage, this triple talaq violates the contract, but triple talaq creates injustice in the contract. Regarding maintenance, Surah 2 Verse 41 states that for a divorced woman, maintenance must be given on a reasonable scale. Triple talaq is against the spirit of the Quran. Imagine where have we reached today?
We don’t claim that all evils be remedied with this bill, but there is a dictum “never leave the good in search of the ideal.” We will be on the path to gender progression through this bill
All laws must be compliant with fundamental rights. I know someone will say tomorrow that I am saying shirk (un-Islamic), but I don’t care, let Allah decide In the name of talaq, lakhs are forcing woman to live in an atmosphere of fear. This atmosphere of fear will end with this law and when this end, there will be a new life in this country.
MI Shanavas: Law Minister cites laws convenient to him, Bill is a psychological war against the women
This matter is being perused in such a way that there is nothing more important in this world than triple talaq. It is being portrayed that Muslims are against reforms in this country. MJ Akbar asked who elected the AIMPLB, answer is that almost all Muslim organization especially from my state (Kerala) listens to them and follow them at least more than what they follow Akbar.
Law minister is citing laws of Muslim countries just because it is convenient to him. Will the government follow all the laws of the Muslim countries? This bill is a mockery of criminal jurisprudence. It is like a psychological war against the women.
Meenakshi Lekhi: Law needed against Maulanas who encourage triple talaq
Why didn't UPA end medieval laws? The bill is not a ramban (cure all) to end all miseries. The practice of triple talaq needs to be discouraged. Supreme Court has said it is an arbitrary practice. Many people think women are commodities and that needs to be stopped. Women are the biggest minority in this country. Women are the biggest minority in this country. This is why they have been oppressed in the way they have. It is high time we do away practices that oppress women. Those opposing the law against triple talaq are speaking language of personal law.
Instant talaq is practiced over WhatsApp, email, text message. When you get married, you take the society along with you.
Sushmita Dev: Will we see the women's reservation bill coming to the Parliament too?
When the Supreme Court judgment came, we welcomed it. Today, the Law Minister has brought the triple talaq bill which takes a civil issue like divorce and turns it into a criminal law. The government says it will act as a deterrent. The bill talks about right to subsistence allowance, how will the government ensure she gets it? We are asking these questions since Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad disagreed to a standing committee.
When the Supreme Court's judgment came Congress had a press meet. We welcomed the Supreme Court judgment. When the Supreme Court requested the Parliament to legislate on it, in a technical term, I'd say it was a minority judgment. The bill seeks to amend a critical law. We have seen historically that talaq is a unilateral act. Since 1939, women have been approaching court. However, the reality is, that this is a practice that is prevalent till today.
Everybody wants social reforms. It is not just an idea, it is a right. I want to ask Ravi Shankar Prasad, will we see the women's reservation bill coming to the Parliament. It is not just the representation of women, if you would have allowed more women in the Parliament, a legislation like this, full of lacunae, wouldn't have seen the light of the day in this House.
Mallikarjun Kharge: Send the bill to standing committee
Send the bill to the standing committee. All party people will be present there. Give some time, an elaborate consultation of the bill needs to take place. All of us are supporting this bill, but there are certain lacunae which should and can be rectified in the standing committee, we can sit together and sort out in a time bound manner."
Dharmendra Yadav: Why criminal repercussions?
Indian government is in a lot of hurry. The standing committee recommendations needed to have been taken on board. This can be made a better law. This law is being drafted in a very hurried manner. Our party thinks that just because a civil contract has been severed why should there be criminal repercussions. When the man is in jail how they can sustenance be given to a woman in the meantime?
Jay Prakash Narayan: Consult the Muslim Personal Law Board
Please refer to a standing committee. We are the son Ram-Rahim. The Muslim representatives need to be consulted. The Muslim law board must be consulted. Please don’t try to achieve political mileage through this. Divorce can be through intention and thinking in mind too, this too also has to be taken into consideration. Muslim women must be given reservation. Even Hindus have Dalits and other class of people.
Member of All India United Democratic Front: The agenda here is to bring UCC
First consideration should be essentiality. Muslims are 16 to 17 percent. Triple talaq is negligible. You have an agenda in this and you are trying to create a myth that the patriarchal Muslim women are create problems of the women. We have witnessed many law making here, and by extending the house we have violated the sanctity of the house. This bill will pave the way for common civil code. MJ Akbar is ignorant about Sharia, and he says Sharia does not exist. The agenda is to bring about UCC. This bill is a violation of Article 25 of the constitution. Criminalization of talaq is a serious offence.
NK Premachandran: Make Amendment sin IPC and CrPC, why this new law? What is the retrospective effect of this bill?
Please remove the cloud of confusion of UCC. This bill is drafted hurriedly and is ill-drafted. Number one flaw in the bill is that no one should be punishable for a crime which is harmful, and this practice is null and void after the SC verdict. There are provisions like 498A of IPC. If amendments are to be made, it can be made in IPC and CPC. This bill is counterproductive and against criminal jurisprudence. This penalty of three years is against the doctrine of proportionality. It may aggravate the already status of alienation of Muslim Women. There is no definition for subsistence here because when the husband who is in jail cannot maintain the wife. What is the status of the bill in retrospective effect? Will this invalidate all the triple talaqs before the bill is passed? There will be a flood of litigation. There is a cloud of doubt surrounding the bill.
Tathagata Satpathy: Why No Ordinance in this case?
The government is so focused on discussing whether bamboo is a grass or a tree, it did not feel necessary to bring forth an ordinance in this particular case. The game is somewhere else. Bringing in criminality angle. When we are talking about introducing criminality into divorce, this is a civil matter. I am talking of the poorest of the poor. They see law in different angles. When there is compulsion by law that either you live together or go to prison, there could be happenings that are beyond the control of the government functionaries.
Our opposition is about the way you intend to apply this bill. This bill is definitely not an initiative of this government. We always pass bills but we always seem to forget the implementation aspect and that is where things are going wrong in this country. Despite the AIMPLB saying that no such acts will happen, 100 plus annulments happened after the Supreme Court judgment.