The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till tomorrow following uproar by opposition parties without any decision on the triple talaq bill. As soon as the matter was taken up for debate, the opposition members created ruckus and demanded that the legislation be referred to the Select Committee.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabu Azad said that that the opposition parties are willing to help the government to pass the law but the bill (The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017) has some flaws which need to be rectified. He said that the Bill should be referred to the Select Committee of the House before tabling it here for voting.
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley accused Congress of sabotaging the bill and questioned the motions moved by Congress MP Anand Sharma and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy of TMC. He argued that the motions stand invalid on technical grounds.
“The amendment motion brought by Anand Sharma and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy on Wednesday were not as per the rules and hence should be rejected,” he said.
To this, opposition members started protesting and recalled the Chair’s words that the motions were valid.
Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien clarified that notice is a motion and after motion is moved, it is property of the House and the House will decide on it. He said that without consensus, the Chair cannot take up the triple talaq bill as GST Bill is listed before it.
“Unless there is a consensus in the House, cannot take up the triple talaq bill,” he said. “I will have to go by the list of legislative business. So the GST Bill will be taken up.”
Even after this, the opposition members refused to relent with Anand Sharma jumping into the heated argument. Sharma objected to taking up another bill instead of the triple talaq bill, saying the motion was moved on Wednesday “so the unfinished business must be finished”.
The Chair then adjourned the House till tomorrow.
Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha on Thursday: As it happened
5:53 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till tomorrow
* Anand Sharma argued that he had submitted yesterday names of only opposition members and that the names from the BJP and NDA be given by the government. Sharma claimed that he had given this in writing as well.
5:46 pm: Congress MP Anand Sharma says opposition ready to resolve the matter with consensus but government is unwilling to do so.
5:40 pm: Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien clarifies that notice is a motion and after motion is moved, it is property of the House and the House will decide on it. He says that without consensus, the Chair cannot take up the Triple Talaq Bill as GST Bill is listed before it.
Uproar in Rajya Sabha after opposition's motion on #TripleTalaqBill, opposition has demanded the bill be sent to select committee— ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2018
* Jaitley said that the names suggested by Anand Sharma had members only from opposition parties and thus the motion is not valid
5:35 pm: Leader of House Arun Jaitley accuses Congress of trying to sabotage the Triple Talaq Bill. He also questions motion moved by Anand Sharma on technical grounds. "Motion moved by Anand Sharma not valid".
* Who will pay for maintenance if husband is jailed? We are are in favour of the Bill: Azad
5:25 pm: We are here to support the government, we are demanding that the Bill be referred to the Select Committee: Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress
During a meeting with members of various parties on functioning of the House, the Triple Talaq Bill was discussed and the Chairman asked both the opposition and the treasury benches to sort out the issue between them.
5 pm: Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu urges members to act responsibly to ensure smooth proceedings and assured them that whatever decision he takes including on the Triple Talaq Bill would be to enhance the image of the House.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned after continuous uproar by the opposition parties over the Triple Talaq Bill. As soon as Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tabled the legislation, the Opposition parties led by the Congress started raising slogans and demanded that the bill be referred to a Standing Committee of the Upper House for closer scrutiny.
The government opposed the Opposition’s demand on grounds that it was a delaying tactic. Prasad said that that the Congress supported the triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha, but "cobbled up" with other parties to stall the legislation in Rajya Sabha.
The Opposition, on its part, insisted that the proposed legislation was “faulty” and various stakeholders should be consulted before its passage.
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had accused the Congress of “double standards” in its stand on the triple talaq bill, saying it was trying to stall the bill in the Rajya Sabha after supporting it in the Lok Sabha. Addressing the BJP Parliamentary Party, the Union finance minister also said the government wanted a debate on the bill, which criminalises instant talaq, and its passage with a consensus like the GST bill.
On December 28, the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha. The legislation, which has to be cleared by the Rajya Sabha, criminalises instant divorce with three years of imprisonment for Muslim husbands.
There is a provision for a subsistence allowance from the husband for the livelihood and daily needs of the wife and the dependent children. The wife will also be entitled to the custody of minor children. The practice of instant divorce is not followed in major Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt.