New Delhi: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Thursday opposed criminalisation of triple talaq and dubbed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill as ‘divisive,’ which allegedly creates gender disparity in the society.
Speaking on behalf of the party, BJD MP from Balasore, Rabindra Kumar Jena said that the Bill is politically motivated and has the potential to divide the society on the basis of gender.
Jena questioned the Centre’s move to criminalise triple talaq and provision of imprisonment of three years to the husband in the Bill.
“There is no need to criminalise triple talaq. Triple talaq which does not dissolve marriage cannot be declared as a crime,” Jena emphasised.
The law makes husband liable to pay for the maintenance of the wife in case of divorce, but how would the husband be able to pay her maintenance if he is in jail, Jena asked.
Significantly, BJD Parliamentary party leader in the Lok Sabha Bhartruhari Mahtab moved two amendments to the Bill, but they were negated.
Mahtab said, “We had moved the amendments to delete the jail term, which was voted out by the majority of the Treasury bench and the Centre. So we staged a walked out on the issue. We have welcomed the Bill, but opposed the penal provisions.”
Meanwhile, Rabindra Jena told the House that the Bill has no safeguard to prevent it from being misused. He also said that when the Supreme Court has already declared the practice of instant triple talaq illegal and void then what is the need to bring the Bill in the House.
“If the Bill is passed in its present form and implemented, it has full potential to backfire,” Jena said
He said that many Muslim men may simply abandon their wives instead of giving them divorce due to fear of this Bill.
“We are talking about gender parity. Don’t bring such a Bill which has the potential to divide the society on the basis of gender,” he added.
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