BJP issues whip on triple talaq legislation

New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) The BJP is believed to have issued a three-line whip to its MPs asking them to be present in the Lok Sabha on Thursday when the government plans to introduce the bill that criminalises the practice of instant triple talaq.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will introduce the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights and Marriage) Bill that seeks to protect the rights of married Muslim women and prohibits “any pronouncement (of divorce) by a person upon his wife by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form, or in any other manner”.

In a bid to ensure that the introduction is smooth, the BJP is understood to have issued the whip so that any stiff opposition from members on the other side at the introduction stage could be thwarted.

The bill proposes to make the triple talaq practice a punishable offence and describes it against “constitutional morality” and “gender equity”.

Anyone who pronounces instant divorce “shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and a fine”, the bill proposes.

Clerics and several Muslim organisations, cutting across sects and schools of jurisprudence, have opposed the bill, terming the government’s stand as “uncalled for interference” in the personal laws of the community.

Earlier, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar asked all opposition parties to help pass the bill in Parliament.