London: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that the party has an issue with the “criminalisation” aspect in the Triple Talaq Bill.
Responding to a question by ANI on Congress stonewalling the Triple Talaq Bill in courts and in Parliament, the Congress President said, “We have an issue with the criminalisation (part of the Bill) but we have not stonewalled anything. Our issue is with the criminalisation aspect.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been accusing the Congress of stalling the passage of the landmark Bill which was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 29, 2017. The Bill is yet to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP’s aim was to get the Bill passed in the Budget Session which commenced on January 29 and adjourned sine die on April 6. The Congress-led Opposition, however, has demanded that the Bill should be sent to the Select Committee for further scrutiny.
On August 9, the Cabinet proposed three amendments in the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, 2017. The changes proposed are, firstly only the victim, a blood relation or relation by marriage are allowed to lodge FIR in the case; secondly, the case can be dropped if husband and wife agree to settle their differences and thirdly, a magistrate can grant bail to men found guilty of giving instant Triple Talaq to their wives. However, the offence still remains non-bailable. After the Bill is passed in the Upper House, it would go back to the Lok Sabha for approval of the amendments.
The draft of The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, also known as the Triple Talaq Bill, says, “Any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal”.
The Bill proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife in any form of spoken, written or by electronic means such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp.