Triple Talaq Bill Likely to be Tabled in Rajya Sabha Tomorrow, Here Are Key Issues to be Discussed

Fifty eight members of the Upper House are slated to complete their term in April 2018. At least 10 members have to be elected from the Hindi heartland of Uttar Pradesh.

New Delhi: The central government is likely to table the Triple Talaq bill in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

The bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, had witnessed protests by opposition parties like Congress, Left, AIADMK and DMK on various grounds. The opposition said the bill should be referred to a parliamentary panel for deliberation and fine-tuning.

Here are the key issues flagged by the opposition:

— When the marriage remains, why send husband to jail: It has been argued that after the Supreme Court verdict, instant triple talaq will not have an effect on a marriage. Therefore, the utterance will have no meaning in law and the marriage shall remain intact. If there is no impact on the marriage and the utterance is a nullity in itself, which act is proposed to be criminalised under the bill?

— Need for turning a civil issue into a criminal act: Marriages and divorces are fundamentally civil issues. There are judicial and quasi-judicial forum to adjudicate such discards. Any act of violence also has redressed under the Indian Penal Code and hence, why create a new offence to make the issue of divorce a criminal offence?

— Absence of mechanism for maintenance for wives and minor children: The bill is completely silent on the aspect of providing for subsistence allowance to the aggrieved women and their children when the men may find themselves behind the bar after registration of the case. One of the provisions does talk about subsistence allowance but how will a man provide if he is jailed? Further, the government has not announced that there will be a separate corpus of funds to ascertain maintenance in such cases.

— Shutting possibility of reconciliation: Although the man and the woman will remain legally wedded in spite of the utterance of triple talaq, it would become improbable they will ever reconcile after a criminal case is lodged against the husband. Somebody who has opted to give triple talaq is unlikely to accept the woman back once he is incarcerated because of a complaint by his 'wife'.