Parliament to meet after break, triple talaq bill listed for Thursday

New Delhi, Dec 26 (IANS) Parliament will meet again on Wednesday after a four-day break amid continued logjam over Congress’ demand for apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat election campaign.

The two houses will meet after a weekend and two-day holiday on Christmas.

The government’s efforts to bring a bill to criminalise instant triple talaq, which has been listed for introduction on Thursday, may also lead to a tussle with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) conveying its intent to oppose the bill.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has also expressed its reservations over penal provisions in The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 while Communist Party of India leader D. Raja has said it should be referred to the standing committee.

CPI-M leader Mohammed Salim said that Modi government’s move to bring a bill criminalising instant triple talaq was unwarranted and politically motivated.

He said when Supreme Court has already banned triple talaq, there is no need to bring such a bill.

“As far as demanding a ban on the practice of triple talaq is concerned, we have been raising this issue ever since politicians like Narendra Modi had not even heard of the term triple talaq. But we recognise that divorce is a civil matter and there is no need to criminalise it,” Salim said.

He said that the bill was “arbitrary” as stakeholders such as the Muslim community, women rights groups and civil society have not been consulted.

Salim said that there is no need to make a national law on something that is not practiced widely.

BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said there were some concerns regarding the penal provisions which will be raised during during the discussion on the bill.

“At the time of introduction, it will only the constitutional viability which will be questioned. At the time of introduction, there will not be much resistance.”

The two houses have witnessed repeated disruptions since the start of Winter Session of Parliament on December 15 over Modi’s remarks against the former Prime Minister with the Congress vociferously raising the issue.

While Rajya Sabha has seen daily adjournments, the Congress has been staging protests and walk out in the Lok Sabha.

Other bills on the government’s agenda in this week include The High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Condition of Services) Amendment Bill, 2017 and The Representation of the People’s (Amendment) Bill, 2017.