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‘Triple talaq’ bill in Lok Sabha today

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New Delhi, Dec 26: Stage is set for yet another round of high-decibel debate and confrontation in the Lok Sabha on Thursday on the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill that seeks to put a ban on the practice of instant divorce among Muslims.

Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday said that the treasury bench would like to ensure the passage of the Bill in both Houses of Parliament.

“We are in favour of constructive debate. Opposing a draft law or staging a walkout is part of the democratic process, but I am confident the Bill will be passed as it seeks to ensure justice for Muslim women and is against ill practices,” Naqvi told reporters.

 

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel also exuded confidence that the draft law – also called Triple Talaq Bill – will get the nod of both the Houses.

“It is an important bill and is aimed at ensuring justice for Muslim women,” he said.

“The government does not want to do any politics with the Bill. The Ordinance brought this year has addressed some of the issues raised earlier,” Goel said.

The BJP has issued whip to its Lok Sabha members asking them to be present when Parliament’s winter session resumes business on Thursday, December 27 after weekend and Christmas break.

The Bill was listed for being taken up by the House of the People last week on December 20 but Congress floor leader MallikarjunKharge requested the Speaker SumitraMahajan to take up the Bill on December 27 saying his party will participate in the discussions.

“I give you a commitment that we will participate in the discussions on the Bill,” Kharge said.

After Kharge’s assurance, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he respects Kharge and hoped discussions will take place peacefully on the Bill.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar also agreed that the Bill will be taken up on December 27.

N K Premachandran (RSP) said that he will move statutory resolution against the Bill.

While the government will have no issues to get the nod of the Lok Sabha, problems could arise yet again in the Rajya Sabha.

Last year too, the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha but it was stalled in Rajya Sabha.

However, in September this year, the government had brought in an Ordinance making the Triple Talaq “illegal”.

The government had said there was a “compelling necessity” and an overpowering urgency to come with the executive order as the issue of Triple Talaq is strictly linked to gender justice.

The Supreme Court had found the practice “un-Islamic” and “arbitrary” and had disagreed that Triple Talaq was an integral part of religious practice.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said that if necessary the Bill could be passed by a Joint Sitting of both the Houses of Parliament. However, he expressed hope that AIADMK could render its support to the Bill in the Upper House.

NCP leader MajeedMemon said while it would be easy to pass the Bill in Lok Sabha yet again; problems could be in Rajya Sabha as several opposition parties including the Congress want amendments to it.

KTS Tulsi, a senior lawyer and Rajya Sabha member, also said: “BJP should not forget there is a Rajya Sabha”.

The Bill, which was tabled last week, provides for a three-year jail term for those found guilty of following the practice. It would supersede an earlier Bill that the government had managed to get passed in Lok Sabha in December last year.

The fresh Bill was introduced on December 17. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said despite Supreme Court ruling, the evil practice still persisted.

Facing resistance in Upper House of Parliament last year, the government has introduced some amendments, but the opposition parties still remained defiant apparently.

The Bill passed in Lok Sabha on December 27 last year had sought to make instant divorce a punishable, cognisable and a non-bailable offence.

The fresh Bill provides for a three-year jail term for those found guilty of following the practice.


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Upcoming snow spell: Avalanche warning issued for Kashmir, Ladakh districts

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Srinagar, Jan 19: Kashmir areas experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday, with the weather office forecasting more in store for the next three days.
“A western disturbance (WD) is presently active over the state under whose influence moderate to heavy snowfall is likely to occur in the valley till January 23 after which the intensity of the WD will start decreasing,” a Met Department official said here.
District administrations have set up helplines to help prevent any untoward incident due to the heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan Saturday issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
As per the hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DC’s to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.
While the nightlong cloud cover increased minimum temperatures throughout the valley on Saturday, the maximum temperatures are expected to drop further, the weather official said.
Srinagar recorded minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 4.4 and Gulmarg minus 7.0 as the minimum temperatures.
Leh town had minus 9.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil minus 18.9 as the night’s lowest temperature.
Jammu city recorded 8.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 9.1, Batote 3.9, Bannihal 2.3 and Bhaderwah 1.3 as the minimum temperatures.

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UN clearly did its job: Guterres on Kashmir human rights report

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United Nations: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan will engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues.
The UN chief also said he has been offering his “good offices in relation to the dialogue between the two countries that, until now, had no conditions of success.”
Guterres was speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
“I hope that the importance of both India and Pakistan is such in international affairs, I hope that the two countries will be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue,” he said.
The UN chief was responding to a question on his repeated urging of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
In relation to the human rights situation, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has produced recently a very detailed report. So, the UN has clearly done its job in that regard, Guterres said to a question by a Pakistan journalist on the situation in Kashmir.

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Day after grenade attack, forces conduct search op in Lal Chowk

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Srinagar: A joint search operation was launched by the forces and police in the commercial Hub Lal Chowk area of Srinagar on Saturday.
The search came a day after the grenade attack took place in the locality, which left a vehicle and windowpanes of some shops damaged.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed near the Clock Tower here while the frisking was also intensified.
They said that drones too were used during the operation.
However, a top police official said that it was a routine exercise ahead of upcoming Republic Day.

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