The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed a landmark bill that criminalises instant triple talaq with three years of imprisonment for Muslim husbands.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was passed by a voice vote after the government rejected an overwhelming demand from the Opposition parties to refer the legislation to a Parliamentary Standing Committee for detailed consideration.
Various amendments moved by opposition members, including Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) and Revolutionary Socialist Party member NK Premachandran, were rejected in divisions.
The government's determination to get the Bill passed could be gauged from the fact that it was introduced in the morning and taken up for consideration in the afternoon by suspending relevant rules and then passed in the evening by sitting late beyond the scheduled close of the House.
Here’s who said what:
Rajnath Singh, Home Minister: It is a historic day, we are confident that it will be passed in Rajya Sabha as well.
Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM MP: The bill is to demonise the Muslims and has sent a wrong message to the Muslims of the country. A message has gone down as to who was playing "vote bank politics". Those Muslim women, who are celebrating its passage, are "not aware" of its provisions. They will realise its negative impact in the future. The Congress also stands exposed by not opposing the bill.
Amit Shah, BJP president: This bill is a historic step towards ensuring dignity for Muslim women. I thank all fellow Parliamentarians who have supported this bill, which will bring a new era of hope and respect in the lives of Muslim women.
#TripleTalaqBill is a historic step towards ensuring dignity for Muslim women. I thank all fellow Parliamentarians who have supported this bill, which will bring a new era of hope and respect in the lives of Muslim women: BJP President Amit Shah (File pic) pic.twitter.com/ZCMxS59nYw— ANI (@ANI) December 28, 2017
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Law Minister: The bill is not about any religion but about the issue of women justice and dignity.
Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress leader: It is a progressive bill, all parties support it. But they were certain reservations, wanted certain amendments, that is why we insisted it should be should be referred to the Standing Committee but they were in a hurry to pass the bill. Our party will take further steps in Rajya Sabha, will discuss with Rajya Sabha members, will find out a way to reduce the suspicion created by the government.
Sushmita Dev, Congress: SC banned Triple Talaq because it believed that a couple should get time for reconciliation. With this bill, offence will be now a non-bailable offence, there'll be no chance of reconciliation. I moved an amendment over compensation for Muslim women from govt, it was negated. Do not know why this government was in a hurry to pass the bill.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union minister: The passage of the bill is a historic and landmark step towards women empowerment. I congratulate Prime Minister Modi and Law Minister Prasad for it.
Mahesh Sharma, Union minister: It is a bill that respects humanity and helps provide dignity to our mothers and sisters.
Nawab Malik, NCP spokesperson: If the BJP government had interests of Muslims in mind, it would have engaged all stakeholders in the community to ensure the law benefits them. The bill was introduced to gain political mileage and not for the interest of Muslims. As per law, there is a provision of a three-year jail for pronouncing instant talaq. If a man is sent to jail, will the government bear the maintenance of the wife and children for three years? There is no mention of this in the law.