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MK Stalin Says 3 years jail term in triple talaq Bill in harish provision

Chennai: DMK on Friday demanded that the Bill that seeks to criminalise triple talaq be referred to a Parliamentary standing committee for in-depth consideration in view of the fact that it has a "harsh provision" of three years imprisonment.

In a statement, DMK Working President MK Stalin said the "haste" with which the Bill was brought in the Lok Sabha and passed with the provision for imprisonment raises questions whether the real intent of the BJP-led central government is protecting the interest of Muslim women. On the contrary, he said, the government's "hurry" on the measure shows it is "motivated".

He said the Supreme Court had in its judgement in August had only said that Parliament can bring a law to end the practice of triple talaq but did not say there should be a provision for imprisonment.

Stalin said while the DMK always stood for protection of women's rights but the government had "poked its nose" into Shariah and the personal laws of the Muslim community without any discussions with Muslim organisations or the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. At least, the government could have referred the bill to a Parliamentary standing committee and taken the views of all parties before bringing it to the House.

Rejection of such a demand by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad shows that the government was only keen on bulldozing the legislation in an autocratic manner on the basis of its numbers, which is not healthy in a Parliamentary democracy, he said.

Keeping the country's multifaceted nature and unity in mind, the government should take immediate steps to refer the bill to a Parliamentary committee, Stalin said.

Earlier, TNM had spoken to senior advocate Indira Jaisingh who had argued the need for a criminal law considering that marriage under Islamic law is purely a civil contract between two adults. “A marriage being a civil contract must follow the procedure which is civil in nature”, she said.

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