Rajya Sabha adjourns over opposition objections to Triple Talaq Bill

New Delhi: Central government tabled Triple Talaq Bill amid ruckus in Rajya Sabha today. Soon after Union Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the bill for discussion, the chaos that followed forced the House to adjourn until Thursday.

Ravi Shankar Prasad underlining the urgency of approving the proposed bill into law said, “Even after passage of triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha the practice is continuing, a woman in Moradabad was given instant talaq over dowry.”

Congress leader Anand Sharma, however, moved a notice demanding that triple talaq bill be referred to a select committee for further consideration.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while accusing the Congress said, “The whole country is watching that in the other house you supported the bill and in this house you are trying to derail the bill.” Jaitley also objected to the Congress’s motion, which he said was not “given 24 hours in advance”.

The finance minister cited the Supreme Court’s judgment while justifying the Centre’s objection to send the bill to a select committee said, “The reason why it should not be referred (to select committee) is that when the practice was declared unconstitutional, 2 of the judges held it as unfair and used their extraordinary power to suspend it for 6 months, which expire on February 22. Judges said, ‘We are now suspending it for 6 months and we beseech all parties, therefore within this period come out with apt legislation.’ So, there is an urgency that country expects from Parliament. Legislature must act with sense of responsibility,” Jaitley stressed.

Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal—who represented a party in the case— debunked Jaitley’s claim. “He (Arun Jaitley) referred to judgement of SC. I want to correct the record because I appeared in the case on behalf of Muslim Personal Law Board. What he said was in context of the minority judgement,” Sibal told vice chairman PJ Kurien, who was presiding over the proceedings.

Anand Sharma while talking about 24 hours advance motion notice said, “Members of the opposition had met with RS chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to discuss the proposed motion and he had given his say-so”. He asserted that it is their constitutional duty to ensure that any bill undergoes legislative scrutiny before it is passed as law.