Govt to push for triple talaq bill in Budget session

Centre unlikely to send bill to RS select committee

Govt to push for triple talaq bill in Budget session

The Centre on Sunday said it would "leave no stone unturned" to ensure the passage of the triple talaq bill during the Budget session of Parliament.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, however, virtually ruled out referring the bill to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha as demanded by the Opposition.

Kumar's assertions came even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at an all-party meeting convened by the government, strongly favoured the standing committee system of Parliament describing it as the "role model" of participative democracy.

"Let the house decide," Kumar said when asked whether the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill would be referred to the select committee.

The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha unanimously but was hanging fire in the Upper House where the numbers favour the Opposition.

While the government appeared cold to the Opposition demand for further scrutiny of the bill, Modi, ironically, made a strong pitch to develop the "committee system" as a role model of "participative democracy". The triple talaq bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, where the BJP enjoys brute majority, on December 28.

But the NDA floor managers failed to convince the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, where the government is in minority, to change its stand to refer the bill to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha for further scrutiny. The Congress and other Opposition parties had raised concerns over the criminalisation of 'talaq-e-biddat' or instant divorce which they said was "un-Islamic".

They also wanted the government to provide for the family if the husband was imprisoned for giving instant divorce.

The government said that it would strive to forge a consensus on the triple talaq bill just like the GST Bill that was unanimously passed by all parties. The government will have little time to ensure the passage of the triple talaq bill as the priority would be given to the Motion of Thanks to the President for his address to both house of Parliament and the passage of the Union Budget.

During the meeting, Modi also told the Opposition leaders that the government gave "huge importance" to the issues raised by them.

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