New Delhi, Aug 10: All eyes will be on Rajya Sabha as the Modi government is expected to bring the amended Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill, 2017 in the Upper House on Friday, the last day of the Monsoon session.
The Bill is stuck in the Rajya Sabha due to lack of consensus on provisions of the Bill. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 has been passed in the Lok Sabha but was stalled in the Rajya Sabha in January, amid protests by the opposition.
Springing a surprise, the Union cabinet brought in few crucial amendments in the Bill - that was passed by Lok Sabha in December 2017. The government sources suggest the new amendments would make things difficult for the opposition to protest against or oppose the Triple Talaq Bill.
The new amendments include a provision to allow the Magistrate to give bail to the accused. The Cabinet on Thursday cleared three amendments to the bill, the most important of which is that while triple talaq will continue to be a non-bailable offence, but the Magistrate will be empowered to decide if the accused can be granted bail.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, 'It has been made compoundable. If the wife and the husband desire to settle their differences, then the magistrate can compound the offence on appropriate terms and conditions. Magistrate can grant bail after hearing the wife.
Another amendment to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill, 2017 will now ensure that an FIR against a husband who gives triple talaq instantaneously can become 'cognisable' when it is filed by the victim (the wife herself) or somebody in a blood relation or a relation by marriage.
The government hopes that the amended bill, cleared by the Cabinet on Thursday, will win the support of the Congress and other opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha.
'Our government has strengthened the bill as much as possible, and we have also now allayed all the apprehensions that were there.....I want to appeal to Sonia Gandhi to clearly state her party's stand. Like your party did not vote against the bill in the Lok Sabha, we expect the same from you in the Rajya Sabha,' Prasad said.
The push for the bill on the last day of the session seems clearly a move with an eye on Assembly polls to four states, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.
The Triple Talaq bill aims to set aside the centuries-old practice of instant divorce by Muslim men. The proposed law would only be applicable on instant 'triple talaq' or 'talaq-e-biddat' and it would give power to the victim to approach a Magistrate, seeking 'subsistence allowance' for herself and minor.UNI