NEW DELHI: Congress MP from Silchar (Assam) Sushmita Dev alleged that the principal focus of the Bill was not to empower Muslim women but to penalise Muslim men.
Participating in the debate on the Bill in the Lok Sabha, she said Congress opposes the criminalisation of triple talaq.
“This law is not about empowering a Muslim woman, it’s a Bill that only penalises a Muslim man. In the name of power [empowerment], you are giving the Muslim women nothing but a criminal case,” she said. The Bill seeks to replace an ordinance issued earlier for protecting the rights of married Muslim women and prohibiting divorce by pronouncing “talaq” by their husbands.
The ordinance was promulgated in September, making the practice of instant triple talaq an offence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) with a three-year jail term.
“As per the new amendments that the government has introduced in the Bill, a Muslim man can walk away with a diluted subsistence clause and escape huge punishment or compensation that he is supposed to give to his wife. We oppose a matter which is clearly and purely a matter of civil jurisdiction that it is being criminalised,” Sushmita Dev said.
“If this government truly believes in empowering women, they should send the Bill to a joint parliamentary select committee,” she added.