New Delhi: Rajya Sabha - the Parliament's Upper House, was on Wednesday adjourned till tomorrow after the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) members created ruckus in the house to suppress the opposition demand of division of votes on TripleTalaq bill.
The Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill - popularly known as the Triple Talaq bill, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today at about 04:00 pm.
The opposition parties led by the Congress highlighting that the bill needs many amendments before it is passed demanded it to be sent to Select Committee.
But the government did not yield and insisted on passing the bill without amendements as was done in the Lok Sabha when the Lower House passed it last Thursday.
Sensing the government's unwillingness to agree for the needed amendments, the opposition demanded division of votes in the House where the ruling BJP is in minority.
BJP members who were already on their feet, started shouting and came into the aisles.
Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien, expressing his inability to proceed with the division of votes amidst the din, adjourned the House for the day.
Members of Parliament from DMK, CPI-M and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had on Tuesday demanded to send the Triple Talaq bill, to Select Committee.
CPI’s Rajya Sabha member D Raja says that the triple talaq bill has been listed for today, “but as far as Left parties are concerned, we will demand that bill should be referred to Select Committee of Rajya Sabha”.
DMK MP Kanimozhi and NCP leader Majeed Memon also said they were against criminalisation and hence the triple talaq bill in its present form is not acceptable.
“NCP has already made it clear that we are entirely against criminalisation. A marriage in Islam is a civil contract, you can’t impose a jail term on improper talaq given by husband to wife. Let it go for reconsideration to Select Committee,” says NCP leader Majeed Memon.
Union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi however exuded confidence that the bill will be passed in the Upper House the way it was passed in the Lok Sabha.
“The way the triple talaq bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, it will be passed in Rajya Sabha too with constructive debate and discussion. Hope the opposition, including the Congress, supports it,” he said.
According to the government sources, the bill will be tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has even issued a three-line whip for all its MPs to remain present in Parliament on January 2 and 3.
The Lok Sabha has on thursday passed the controversial bill making instant talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband.
The bill was passed after the Lok Sabha rejected a string of amendments moved by various opposition members including those from Congress.
The government hailed the passing of the bill in Lok Sabha as “historic”. The Congress however emphasised that it supports "any move to abolish the Triple Talaq," but has questioned the jail term provision asking how a man in prison will provide for the woman and children he has abandoned using the triple talaq.
It also wants some other changes in the bill, stating today that it would prefer a review of the proposed legislation by a parliamentary panel.
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) said various Muslim bodies in the country would move the Supreme Court if the bill is also passed by the Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad has convened a meeting of the leaders of the Congress as well as other parties in his Parliament chamber on Tuesday, before the bill is taken up.