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Opposition demands referring 'triple talaq' bill to joint select committee

Newdelhi: A united opposition in the Lok Sabha on Thursday pitched for referring the 'triple talaq' bill to a 'joint select committee' of Parliament, claiming its provisions were unconstitutional and that there was a need for a greater scrutiny of the draft law. As soon as the House met at 2 pm after an adjournment to take up the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, demanded it be referred to a joint select committee of both Houses for greater scrutiny. He said several provisions of the bill were "unconstitutional".

AIADMK leader P. Venugopal, TMC's Sudip Bandhopadhyay, AIMIM's Assaduddin Owaisi and Supriya Sule (NCP) also made similar demands. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said a similar bill was discussed and passed by the Lok Sabha and therefore members can flag issues during the debate. She said all of a sudden a demand cannot be made to send it to a committee.

Speaking in the house before moving the resolution, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the triple talaq bill, which seeks imprisonment for Muslim men accused of instant divorce, is not about politics but empowerment and justice for women. Responding to demand of opposition parties, including the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, that the bill be sent to a select committee for study, Prasad said the government has already taken note of concerns expressed by members earlier and amended the bill accordingly.