Will appeal govt not to interfere in a religious matter: Cong on Triple Talaq Bill discussion in Lok Sabha

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday said they will appeal to the government not to interfere in a religious matter when the Lok Sabha discusses the Triple Talaq matter today.

“We will take part in the discussion and keep forward our opinion. We will appeal to the government that it should not interfere in a religious matter,” Kharge told ANI.

Lok Sabha will take up The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 today for consideration and passing.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will move the Bill which aims at making instant divorce illegal, a practice followed by a section of Muslims.

On Tuesday, the BJP issued a whip to its Lok Sabha members to be present in the House on December 27 when the Bill to ban instant triple talaq is taken up for discussion and is likely to be put to vote.

The three-line whip is a strict instruction to the Members of Parliament from their respective party which necessitates their presence in the House and participates in voting. Any breach of the whip has serious consequences including disciplinary action against the violators of the whip.

The Triple Talaq Bill intends to make the practice of instant triple talaq among Muslims an offense under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) with the provision of three-year jail for the husband. The Bill, earlier introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 17, will replace the ordinance issued by the central government in September this year, banning the instant triple talaq.

With the Lok Sabha failing to function properly due to disruptions ever since the Winter Session began on December 11, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on last Friday had chaired a meeting of the Rules Committee during which law to punish erring members with disciplinary action was favored.

In the meeting, while referring to Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s comments that his party was ready to discuss the instant Triple Talaq Bill on December 27, the Speaker had said: “I believe that on December 27 the House will function smoothly.”

The instant triple talaq was taken up in Parliament in August last year after a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a law that allowed Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by uttering “talaq” three times in quick succession.

In the landmark 3-2 verdict, the apex court found the practice un-Islamic and “arbitrary”, and disagreed that Triple Talaq was an integral part of religious practice.