New Delhi: Opposing the Triple talaq bill in its current form, Congress MP Sushmita Dev Thursday said in the Lok Sabha that the real purpose of the bill was not to empower Muslim women but to "penalise" Muslim men.
Demanding that the bill be referred to the joint select committee of Parliament, Dev said criminalisation of triple talaq goes against the Supreme Court verdict.
"In the name of empowerment you (the government) has given nothing but a criminal case to women...the aim of the bill is not to empower Muslim women but to penalise Muslim men," she said.
The fresh Bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 17 to replace an ordinance issued in September.
Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.
The fresh bill will supersede an earlier bill passed in the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha.
The earlier bill was approved by the Lower House.
But amid opposition by some parties in the upper house, the government had then cleared some amendments, including introduction of a provision of bail, to make it more acceptable.
However, as the bill continued to face resistance in the Rajya Sabha, the government issued an ordinance in September, incorporating the amendments.
An ordinance has a life of six months. But from the day a session begins, it has to be replaced by a bill which should be passed by Parliament within 42 days (six weeks), else it lapses.
The government is at liberty to re-promulgate the ordinance if the bill fails to get through Parliament.
Citing details of instant triple talaq cases, the government had last week informed the Lok Sabha that till now 430 incidents of triple talaq have come to the notice of the government through the media.
Of these, 229 were reported before the Supreme Court judgement, while another 201 came to the notice after it.
These cases were reported between the period of January 2017 and September 13, 2018.PTI JTR