Parliament Winter Session Latest updates: Reports say that the BJP has decided to deploy its best speakers for the debate on the triple talaq bill. Union minister Smriti Irani and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi are among the host of MPs from the Treasury benches to debate the issue.

Amid uproar in the Lower House, Sumitra Mahajan reminded Kharge of his previous statement in the House, when he assured that the Congress MPs will behave in Lok Sabha on Thursday, if the debate on triple talaq bill was rescheduled to that day. She said that she would allow Congress to bring up the issue of Rafale deal at 12 pm today as per the rules, but Zero Hour was not the time to take up such things. The Congress members, undettered, continued to protest loudly. Following this, she adjourned the House till 12 pm.

The politically sensitive bill which seeks to make the practice of instant triple talaq among Muslim men a penal offence will come up for discussion in Lok Sabha on Thursday. The Lok Sabha had last week on Thursday decided to take up the bill on December 27 after the Congress agreed to participate in the debate.

As the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, was taken up for consideration, Leader of the Congress in the House, Mallikarjun Kharge, had suggested it be taken up for discussion next week. Parliament is meeting on 27 December after a long weekend.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar sought an assurance from the Opposition that it would allow discussion on the bill without disruption. The ruling BJP has issued whip to its MPs, asking them to ensure their presence in the House on Thursday.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Tomar’s deputy Vijay Goel said the government is committed to pass the bill, which will benefit millions of Muslim sisters. He added that the Congress has assured of its participation in the discussion without any disruption.

Earlier, Kharge had said in the Lower House, “I request you to take the bill on 27 December. We are all going to participate. Our party and other political parties are ready to discuss (the bill).”

Lok Sabha has been witnessing disruptions over a range of issues, including protests by the Congress, which is demanding a joint parliamentary committee probe on the Rafale deal.

The fresh Bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in Lok Sabha on 17 December to replace an ordinance issued in September. Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband. The fresh bill will supersede an earlier bill passed in the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The earlier bill was approved by the Lower House. But amid opposition by some parties in the upper house, the government had then cleared some amendments, including introduction of a provision of bail, to make it more acceptable.

However, as the bill continued to face resistance in the Rajya Sabha, the government issued an ordinance in September, incorporating the amendments.

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.
The government is at liberty to re-promulgate the ordinance if the bill fails to get through Parliament.

Introducing the bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said despite the Supreme Court striking down the practice of talaq-e-biddat (instant triple talaq), terming it unconstitutional, divorces in this form were taking place.

Citing details of instant triple talaq cases, the government had last week informed Lok Sabha that till now 430 incidents of triple talaq have come to the notice of the government through the media. Of these, 229 were reported before the Supreme Court judgment, while another 201 came to the notice after it. These cases were reported between the period of January 2017 and 13 September, 2018.

Updated Date: Dec 27, 2018 13:51 PM