Triple Talaq Bill gets Rajya Sabha nod by 99-84 votes

NEW DELHI: Amid uproar and walkouts by the opposition parties, the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, popularly known as Triple Talaq Bill, by 99-84 votes. With Parliament approving the contentious bill, the practice of instant triple talaq by Muslim men will now be a criminal offence, with jail term of up to three years. Last week, the bill cleared the Lok Sabha hurdle with 303 ayes and 82 noes.

The Upper House passed the bill minutes after it rejected an opposition sponsored motion, seeking to send the bill to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee for further scrutiny, with 100 votes against it as compared to 84 in favour. Once granted assent by the President, the bill will replace an ordinance promulgated last on February 21 to the same effect as the bill.

Interestingly, the proposed legislation in Rajya Sabha was supported by non-aligned BJD while NDA constituents like JDU and AIADMK walked out of the House during a four-and-half-hour debate on the bill, a move that lowered the majority mark which normally stands at 121.

The ruling NDA has 107 members in the 242-member Rajya Sabha. The NDA was also helped by the absence of some members of SP and BSP as well as those of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and YSR-Congress.

The Triple Talaq bill could not make it through the Upper House earlier this year during the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, although it was passed by Lok Sabha.

After the four-and-half-hour-long debate on the proposed legislation, Parliament finally approved the contentious Triple Talaq Bill with by 99-84 votes. Under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, divorcing through instant triple talaq will be illegal, void and would attract a jail term of three years for the husband. While the bill makes triple talaq a “non-bailable” offence, an accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail. In a non-bailable offence, bail cannot be granted by police at the police station itself.