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Triple talaq bill passed in Lok Sabha

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Dec 27: The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed triple talaq bill was even as opposition parties staged a walkout after the government refused to refer the bill to joint select committee.

Earlier, asserting that the triple talaq bill is about “Insaaniyat aur insaaf”, the government said the legislation should not be weighed on the scales of politics while a united opposition strongly demanded that it should be referred to a joint select committee of Parliament, dubbing its provisions “unconstitutional”.

The debate on the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which was tabled by Prasad last week, began in Lok Sabha amidst exchange of barbs between the treasury benches and the Opposition.

 

With opposition parties, including the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, demanded that the bill be sent to a select committee for a greater scrutiny, Prasad said the government has already taken note of concerns expressed by members earlier and amended the bill accordingly.

Prasad told the Lok Sabha that the bill has made the offence compoundable, meaning that the case can be withdrawn if the man and his estranged wife reach a compromise, and that only the wife and her close relatives can file an FIR, ruling out the law’s misuse. “Don’t weigh the bill on the scales of politics. The bill is about Insaaniyat aur insaaf (humanity and justice),” he said, urging lawmakers of different parties to speak in one voice to support the legislation.

Parliament had earlier unanimously supported laws, including the one prescribing death in rape cases, aimed at giving justice to women, and the triple talaq bill is also a step towards justice for women, he said.

As soon as the House met at 2 pm after an adjournment to take up the bill, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said it be referred to a joint select committee of the two 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 an earlier bill on triple talaq was discussed and passed by the Lok Sabha. 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.

Opposing the bill in its current form, Congress MP Sushmita Dev said the real purpose of the bill was not to empower Muslim women but to “penalise” Muslim men and added criminalisation of triple talaq goes against the Supreme Court verdict.

“In the name of empowerment you (the government) has given nothing but a criminal case to women…the aim of the bill is not to empower Muslim women but to penalise Muslim men,” she said.

The fresh bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 17 to replace an ordinance issued in September.

Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.

The fresh bill will supersede an earlier bill passed in Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The earlier bill was approved by the Lower House. But amid opposition by some parties in the Upper House, the government had then cleared some amendments, including introduction of a provision of bail, to make it more acceptable.

However, as the bill continued to face resistance in the Rajya Sabha, the government issued an ordinance in September, incorporating the amendments.

An ordinance has a life of six months. But from the day a session begins, it has to be replaced by a bill which should be passed by Parliament within 42 days (six weeks), else it lapses.The government is at liberty to re-promulgate the ordinance if the bill fails to get through Parliament.

Refer this bill to the joint select committee: Oppn

New Delhi, Dec 27: A united opposition in the Lok Sabha 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.

Prasad told the Lok Sabha that the bill has made the offence compoundable, meaning that the case can be withdrawn if the man and his estranged wife reach a compromise, and that only the wife and her close relatives can file an FIR, ruling out the law’s misuse.“Don’t weigh the bill on the scales of politics. This bill is not about any specific religion and community. The bill is about humanity and justice,” he said, urging lawmakers of different parties to speak in one voice to support the legislation.

He said as many as 477 cases of triple talaq have been reported since January 2017 and cited a case where a professor gave talaq to his wife over Whatsapp.


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Highway suicide bombing: 5 more CRPF men succumb, death toll 49

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Srinagar, Feb 15: Five more personnel of the paramilitary CRPF succumbed to their injuries late Thursday evening and early Friday morning taking the number of those dead in Thursday’s suicide attack on Kashmir highway to 49.
On Thursday afternoon at about quarter past three, a massive suicide bombing took place on the highway near Lethpora in Awantipora town of Pulwama district, about 20 kilometres away from the city-centre here.
A local Jaish militant rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into a convoy of CRPF vehicles coming from Jammu, ripping apart one of the buses, which had 44 personnel aboard, while causing substantial damage to at least two other buses.
Quoting an official of the CRPF, local news agency Global News Service confirmed that five more critically wounded soldiers succumbed to injuries in the army hospital Thursday evening and Friday morning taking the death-toll of the slain troopers to 49.
“While a total of 44 CRPF men belonging to different battalions were travelling in one vehicle, 39 others were travelling in another,” the CRPF official said.
He added that the CRPF men belonged to 3rd, 17th, 21st, 45th, 54th, 61st, 76th, 82nd, 92nd, 98th, 118th and 176th battalions.
“None from the bus carrying 44 CRPF men survived. Five of the injured among those travelling in another bus succumbed, one of them yesterday (Thursday),” he said.
Militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad in a statement on Thursday had said that their militant, Adil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas Commando, a resident of Pulwama, was the attacker who drove the vehicle (an SUV) and carried out the suicide attack.
The bus which bore the major brunt was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying over 2,500 troopers of the paramilitary force.
On Friday, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at Humhama here and was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other officials of the Union Ministry and state government.
Quoting official sources, news agency GNS said that bodies of 40 of the slain were identified while body parts of nine others were collected and would be sent to their native villages after confirmation.
“Nine of the slain CRPF men, the agency reported, are beyond identification and now DNA test would be conducted to identify their body parts.
“The nine personnel are known but their body parts are not differentiable and now DNA tests are being done,” the news agency reported, adding, “the samples have been taken and would be matched with their relatives.”
CRPF spokesperson Ashish Kumar Jha, the news agency reported, said that bodies of forty personnel have been sent to their respective villages for the last rites.
Asked about the DNA sampling and missing personnel, the spokesman, as per GNS, refused to comment and dropped the phone.
On Friday, a team of NIA visited the scene of the attack and thoroughly searched the area and collected samples for forensic investigations. “The nature of explosive used and quantity used would be revealed during investigations,” reports said. (With inputs from GNS)

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Civilian traffic to be restricted during convoy movement: Rajnath

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Srinagar, Feb 15: Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday helped carry the coffin of one of the slain CRPF personnel after he laid a wreath on the mortal remains of the troops, who were killed in a suicide attack in Kashmir on Thursday, officials said.
Shortly after arriving in Srinagar from Delhi, the home minister attended a solemn function here where the mortal remains of over 40 CRPF personnel were kept in coffins, draped with tri-colour.
Singh helped carry the coffin of a slain CRPF personnel before it was flown out of J&K in a special aircraft.
Apart from Rajnath, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, CRPF Director General R R Bhatnagar, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbagh Singh besides others attended the wreath laying ceremony.
“The nation will not forget the supreme sacrifice of our brave CRPF jawans. I have paid my last respects to the martyrs of Pulwama. The sacrifice will not go in vain,” Singh said.
The dignitaries stood in silence till the coffins were loaded in a truck which went to the Srinagar airport, the official said.
Later during a press conference, Rajnath Singh said that he has asked the officers to review the security provided to people “taking money from Pakistan and its intelligence agency ISI.”
In an apparent reference to separatist leaders, Singh, according to news agency ANI said: “There are some elements who are hand in glove with militant organisations, and ISI across the border. They are involved in conspiracies too. They are toying with the future of the people, especially the youth, of J&K.”
“There are some elements here who take money from Pakistan and ISI. I have told the officers that the security provided to such people should be reviewed,” he said.
The Home Minister also called for restricted “civilian traffic” on the highways during the movement of the convoys of the security forces.
“Civilian traffic movement will be restricted for some time during movement of army and security forces convoys. This may cause inconvenience and I apologise for this but this is necessary for safety of jawans,” Singh said after heading a high-level security review meeting.
At least 49 Central Reserve Police Force personnel lost their lives in Pulwama attack in which a convoy of 78 vehicles of the force was targeted. Militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed the responsibility for the attack and released a video of the suspected attacker, which it identified as a local youth.

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Militants committed biggest mistake, forces have full freedom now: PM

The Kashmir Monitor

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New Delhi, Feb 15: A day after at least 49 CRPF troopers were killed in a major suicide attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the militants have committed their “biggest mistake” and those responsible have to pay.
“We have given complete freedom to the security forces of the country. We have full faith in their bravery and valour,” Modi said while addressing a programme to flag-off the first indigenous Train 18, renamed as Vande Bharat Express at the New Delhi Railway Station.
Addressing the militant groups, the Prime Minister said: “Even those who are giving them shelters are responsible and have committed their worst mistake. They have to pay a very big price.”
Modi also assured the nation that “those powers who are behind the attack will be punished for their deeds”.
Hitting out at Pakistan, without naming it, “Our neighbouring country has already been sidelined by the international community; despite that if it feels it can create problem for India by creating instability, it’s their mistake.”
His remarks came minutes after the Cabinet Committee on Security that decided to withdraw the “Most Favoured Nation” status given to Pakistan.
He then inspected the engine-less Train 18 that has been renamed Vande Bharat Express and flagged it off at 11.20 a.m.
Train 18, the country’s first engine-less train manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, left from New Delhi railway station at 10 a.m. for Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Modi. (IANS)

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