The Triple Talaq Bill that makes the practice of instant divorce among Muslims a criminal offence with a provision of three-year jail term for the erring husband, is set to be tabled in Rajya Sabha on Monday by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Amid a walkout by some Opposition parties, the bill was passed in Lok Sabha with the support of 245 votes against 11 on Thursday.
Reportedly, both Congress and BJP have asked their members to present in the Upper House during the discussion and debate on the contentious Triple Talaq bill.
Calculating the Lok Sabha's environment during the passing of the bill, it seems that some opposition parties are likely to show resistance against the bill and stick to their demand of sending it to a Joint Select Committee for proper assessment.
The government brought the measure after a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court termed as unconstitutional the practice that allowed Muslim men to divorce their wives by simply uttering the word 'talaq' three times in quick succession. Also, police have registered hundreds of complaints made by the affected women against the practice.
Elaborating about the bill in the Lower House, Prasad said: "The bill makes the offence of instant Triple Talaq compoundable, which means that the case can be withdrawn if the man and his estranged wife reach a compromise."
The Law Minister further emphasised that the bill was "not against any community, religion or belief," adding that twenty Islamic nations have banned Triple Talaq, then why can't a secular nation like India?
Some Opposition parties, including the Congress, AIADMK and TMC, had staged a walk out of the House just before the bill was put to vote as their demand for sending it to a Joint Select Committee was not accepted.
However, other Opposition parties like RSP, AIMIM and BJD did not walk out of the House but moved some amendments which were negated.
BJD leader B Mahtab appreciated the government for toning down the provisions in the initial legislation.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that the bill should be sent to a Joint Select Committee of Parliament for a detailed assessment. He suggested that such a committee could be asked to submit its report within 15 days.
"This is a very important bill which needs detailed study. It is also a constitutional matter. I request the bill be sent to joint select committee" he added.
Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay also pressed for sending the bill to a Select Committee, as did AIADMK's P Venugopal.
Samajwadi Party's Dharmendra Yadav said Triple Talaq was a social issue and the BJP was trying to politicise the matter.
NCP's Supriya Sule also said that the issue was social and should not be converted into a political issue.