A controversial bill banning the practice of “triple Talaq” divorce among Muslims was passed by the lower house of Indian parliament by a large majority, amid a walkout by opposition members.
The Triple Talaq bill was passed Thursday with 302 votes in favor and 82 against. He seeks to make the practice of instant divorce, obtained simply by saying “Talaq” three times, a criminal offense, punishable by three years in prison. The bill must now pass through the upper house, where the opposition parties have a majority, before it becomes law.
The Supreme Court of India outlawed instant divorce for men in Islam in 2017, ruling that the practice was “Non-Islamic”. However, in seeking to pass the law, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi maintains that the practice has continued unabated.
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“There were 345 cases of triple talaq after the judgment until July 24. Should we leave these women on the roads? Legal Affairs Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told parliament, saying legislation is essential for gender equality and justice.
“If 20 Islamic countries can ban Triple Talaq, why not India? Even Mohammad the Prophet said that the triple talaq is a sin ”, he added.
The main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, demanded that the bill be sent for review saying it targets Muslims, and staged a walkout after their demand was rejected.
Asaduddin Owaisi, leader of the All India Majlis Ittehad ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party, lambasted the bill as “discriminatory.”
“How will a husband pay alimony in prison?” Why should a woman stay in such a marriage for three years while her husband is in prison? “ he asked during the debate.
The bill had already been passed by the lower house last December, but it lapsed in the upper house after the lower house was dissolved for national elections.
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