Triple talaq bill not about ‘he vs she’: Meenakshi Lekhi

New Delhi: Defending the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 in the Lok Sabha, BJP member Meenakshi Lekhi on Thursday questioned if ‘Triple Talaq was part of the Quran and asserted that the issue was not about “he versus she,” rather it was about human rights violation.

Countering Congress’ arguments that the Bill primarily sought to criminalise only Muslim men, Lekhi citing matrimonial laws especially those governing maintenance, said non-Muslims were liable to be penalised for not giving maintenance to their wives or mothers.

“I will like to ask those opposing the Bill, that in which ‘suraa’ of the Quran is ‘talaq-e-biddat’ mentioned? This is not he vs she, these are issues of human rights violation,” she said.

“Our constitution talks about a uniform civil code and not a uniform religious code. Do we want to create a society where men have the sole right to divorce women whenever they want, a society where men can change wives like clothes,” she asked.

Flaying the Congress for its “politics of appeasement”, Lekhi said the proposed law was not just punitive but “equally restorative and reformative,” pointing out that the offence under it was compoundable or that which can be compromised by the victim and offender, with or without the permission of court.

Claiming that as many as 50 schemes of Narendra Modi-led Central government focused on women empowerment, Lekhi said the proposed law was aimed at gender justice and asserted that no gender war could ever be won unless men stood with women because (men) continued to be in a state of dominance.

She also said all personal laws were different and could not be compared.

“The difference between Congress and us (BJP) is that they talk about divorce and we talk of marriage, we talk about rights of marriage, about sustaining a marriage and empowering women,” she added.

Earlier in the day, the Lok Sabha took up the Bill for discussion and passage amid protests by the Opposition which demanded that the proposed legislation be sent to the select committee for detailed deliberations.

Moving the Bill for passage, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Bill was not against any community, religion or belief, rather it would ensure justice to women.