Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha: Litmus Test For Modi Government as Opposition Adamant on Demand For Select Committee
File image of Rajya Sabha (Photo credit: IANS)

New Delhi, December 31: Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government has managed to pass the Triple Talaq bill in Lok Sabha, the legislation faces a tough test in Rajya Sabha with the opposition all set to join hands over the select committee demand. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will table the amended Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 in the upper house of Parliament today.

Ahead of the discussion and debate on the contentious Triple Talaq bill, the opposition has reportedly moved a joint motion seeking the Triple Talaq Bill be sent to a select committee. The motion demands formation an 11-member select committee to further scrutinise the Triple Talaq Bill before it becomes a law. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which supported the government during the presidential election, is likely to oppose the legislation. Swamy Hopeful of Rajya Sabha Nod to Triple Talaq Bill.

The Triple Talaq Bill, which makes the practice of instant divorce among Muslims a criminal offence with a provision of three-year jail term for the erring husband, was passed in Lok Sabha with the support of 245 votes against 11 on Thursday. While the Congress, TMC and AIADMK staged a walkout, RSP, AIMIM and BJD did not walk out of the House but moved some amendments which were negated.

The government brought the Bill after a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court termed as unconstitutional the practice that allowed Muslim men to divorce their wives by simply uttering the word talaq three times in quick succession. While the government argues that the apex court wanted Parliament to pass a Bill, the Congress points out that the Supreme Court had not asked to make Triple Talaq a punishable offence.

The Congress-led UPA has 112 members in the upper house and the BJP-led NDA 93. One seat is vacant. The remaining 39 members of other parties are unattached to either NDA or UPA and are likely to play an important role in the passage of the contentious legislation. The NDA is way short of the half-way mark of 123 in the 245-member House.