After a month of BJP winning the Lok Sabha Electionwith a thumping majority, the first session of Lok Sabha is in front of us. The month-long session that began on Monday and will continue till 26 July looks ahead to several key bills being tabled in the parliament. Among the key bills also features the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, which is also the only bill majorly affecting women of the country.
The bill bans the tradition of Triple Talaqin the Muslim community wherein according to their personal law, husbands were allowed to divorce their wives just by uttering the word Talaqthrice or by emailing and WhatsApping them. It will be introduced in Parliament and will replace an ordinance issued in February. Under the proposed law, instant triple Talaqwill be unconstitutional and it will penalize a man with a jail term of three years. The previous bill lapsed after it was passed in the Lok Sabha because it could not be cleared in the Rajya Sabha.
On June 12, the union cabinet cleared the bill to be presented in the first session of Parliament. “‘SabkaSaath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ has been the pivot of NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the Centre said in a statement, adding that the government had fulfilled one of its promises, The Hindu reported.
“The Bill would ensure gender equality and gender justiceto Muslim women. It would also help in protecting the rights of married Muslim women and prevent divorce by the practice of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ by their husbands. The Bill will be introduced in the forthcoming session of the Parliament,” the Centre said then.
Before the election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the bill during campaigning in the region and said the BJP was committed to passing it once the NDA returned to power.
Other bills that are going to be tabled include the Aadhaar Bill, Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Bill, Companies Act amendment and bill concerning the Indian Medical Council.
Women’s organisation gathered last week to write a letter to the Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to table the Women’s Reservation Bill, however; there are bleak chances of it getting tabled in the first session of parliament. Political Shakti, a group pushing for the inclusion of women in parliament, has garnered the support of over 270 people including organisations and influential persons, who signed the letter.
The Bill would ensure gender equality and gender justice to Muslim women. It would also help in protecting the rights of married Muslim women and prevent divorce by the practice of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ by their husbands.
“As you know, the ruling BJP, your own party has promised it: manifesto, page 32, item 14. Reservation for Women: Women’s welfare and development will be accorded high priority at all levels within the government and the BJP is committed to 33% reservation in Parliament and State Assemblies through a constitutional amendment,” the letter reads.
Apart from these, there are other women-centric Bills that may not see the light of day in the parliament in this session. These include The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and anti-trafficking bill. Among these anti-trafficking bill and Surrogacy bill were passed in the Lok Sabha but it lapsed as it could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha.
Picture credit: DNA India