Triple Talaq and Citizenship Bills to lapse: Assam celebrates after RS adjourned sine die

New Delhi: The controversial triple talaq and citizenship Bills, passed by Lok Sabha, will lapse with Rajya Sabha being adjourned sine die on Wednesday.

Prior to the adjournment, the House passed the Motion of Thanks to the President for his address, 2019-20 interim budget 2019-20 and appropriation bill without any debate.

Due to the adjournment of the Upper House, The Musilm Women (Protection of Rights on Marrrige) Bill and The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which have generated much heat, will lapse. The Bills were passed in Lok Sabha and were scheduled to be introduced in Rajya Sabha.

General elections are due in May.

According to the Rajya Sabha Legislative Procedure, a Bill pending in the Upper House which has not been passed by Lok Sabha does not lapse on the dissolution of the Lower House. But a Bill which is passed by Lok Sabha and is pending in Rajya Sabha stands lapsed on the dissolution of Lok Sabha.

Following disruption by Samajwadi Party members in Rajya Sabha and its subsequent adjournment on Tuesday, sources had said that the Centre was considering extending the current session of the Upper House of Parliament by a couple of days.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was passed in Lok Sabha on January 8, seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.

Attempts by the government to introduce the Bill in Rajya Sabha in the past six weeks were thwarted by the Opposition which sought it be referred to a Select Committee.

The passage of the Bill in Lok Sabha has led to widespread protests in the North East.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) were imposed in East and West Imphal districts ahead of the proposed tabling of citizenship Bill in Rajya Sabha.

The triple talaq Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on December 27 last year with 245 votes in favour and 11 against it.
The Opposition parties want the Bill to be sent to a Select Committee of Parliament for further vetting, a demand rejected by the Centre. However, an ordinance was re-promulgated in January this year as the revised Bill could not be passed in Rajya Sabha where the government lacks majority.

The Bill criminalises the practice of instant triple talaq with a provision of three years imprisonment to the erring husband.

Assam celebrates

The failure of the BJP-led NDA government to pass the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday brought cheers to most protesting organisations in Assam, but the ruling BJP termed it a “defeat” for the state.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is set to lapse on June 3, when the term of the present Lok Sabha ends, as the Bill could not be tabled in the Rajya Sabha which was adjourned sine die on Wednesday, the last day of the Budget session.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Citizens’ Forum, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and parties such as the Congress and Asom Gana Prishad (AGP) celebrated the development.

AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya expressed his happiness and complimented the people of the region for standing united against the Bill.

“We condemn the BJP government for failing to ascertain the sentiments of the people of the region,” he said.

The students’ body also celebrated the victory by signing songs and distributing sweets to its members and passersby in front of the AASU headquarters in the state capital.

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However, state Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarmathe described the development as a “defeat for Assam.”

“It is a defeat for Assam. My party and I extended full support to the Bill. We do not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha, so the Bill could not be passed. Bangladeshi Muslims will now occupy 17 constituencies of lower and central Assam. The people of Assam will lose their culture and language,” Sarma said.

The KMSS and AJYCP also celebrated the development and said the people of the region have given a strong message to the ruling BJP governments in Delhi and Assam, saying the party will face the consequences in the forthcoming general elections.

The Congress in Assam also rejoiced at the Modi government’s failure to push through the contentious Bill in the Rajya Sabha and said the party has yet again foiled an attempt by the communal forces to convert secular India into a fundamentalist nation.

Debabrata Saikia, the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, said the Congress honoured the sentiments of the people of Assam and the North-East.

Lauding the effective floor coordination between the Congress and non-BJP parties, Saikia said the Modi government was unable to muster the courage to table the Bill in the Rajya Sabha on the last day of the Budget session.

With inputs from IANS/ANI