NEW DELHI — The Rajya Sabha on Monday failed to initiate a discussion on the contentious triple talaq bill, with a united opposition led by the Congress demanding that the draft law be sent to a select committee for scrutiny.
With the government pressing for a discussion on the Muslim women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) bill, 2018 after Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tabled the same, the opposition stuck to its demand for sending the bill to a select committee.
Amid a stalemate between the government and the opposition over the issue, the House failed to transact any significant business during the day.
The House was adjourned for the day amid din over the issue. Earlier the House was adjourned twice during the day with an adjournment in the morning following protests by AIADMK members over the Cauvery issue.
The House also saw another brief adjournment of 15 minutes in the afternoon soon after the triple talaq bill was tabled.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the bill was very crucial and requires further scrutiny and claimed that more than half of the members belonging to several parties have demanded that the bill be sent to a select committee.
He accused the government of breaking the tradition of sending bills to select committees for scrutiny before they become a law.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said the government was ready for a discussion on the issue and accused the Congress of creating hurdles in the passage of the legislation.
He said the Congress has already supported the bill in the Lok Sabha earlier.
“The Congress and other parties are only playing politics on this issue which is very important for ensuring the rights of married Muslim women,” he said.
Hitting back, deputy leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma said, “It is the government which is doing politics. Nobody is opposing the bill. Let there be legislative scrutiny”.
“The government is misleading the people. If the bill has been passed without legislative scrutiny in the Lok Sabha then it should not be passed without referring to select committee. Rajya Sabha is not a rubber stamp,” he said.
Responding to this, Prasad said, “This bill is very important. We want to discuss it and are ready to listen to any suggestion. Even after bringing the ordinance, there have been incidents of triple talaq till yesterday. It is a question of gender equality... We want to discuss and pass the bill.”
Deputy Chairman Harivansh said, “I want to run the House. We have agreed for a holiday on Tuesday. The members should allow the House to function on Monday.”
As members continued to create a din, the Deputy Chairman adjourned the House for the day till Wednesday.
The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday last.