A fresh bill, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, commonly known as the Triple Talaq Bill to make the practice of instant talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday and the ordinance passed in September this year has been replaced with the new one.
Under this proposed law, giving triple talaq in one go will be illegal and will court a prison term for three years for the man.
Congress leader and parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor opposed the bill, calling it misconceived and unconstitutional. He claimed the bill was targeted at a particular religion and hence unconstitutional. “An attempt at creating a class-specific legislation on the grounds of religion. Instead of focussing on the larger issue of mistreatment and desertion of wives and dependents, which affects all communities, this bill is couched in terms of a specific religion. Therefore it is a violation Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution,” he said.
Article 15 prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and Article 16 offers equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
“The bill has no procedural safeguards to prevent its misuse. It is therefore manifestly arbitrary, and therefore is a violation of Articles 14 (Equality before law) and 21 (Protection of life and personal liberty) of the Constitution,” he further said.