Own correspondent,TDN World: Welfare Party of India has criticised  the BJP government for passing the Triple Talaq Bill in Loksabha on Thursday by calling it a communally charged election stunt. 

National President of Welfare Party of India Dr SQR Ilyas criticised the BJP government for passing the bill and called it an act to appease communal Majority community keeping Parliament elections 2019 in mind. 

He called it unreasonable as this TT Bill makes the divorce null and void but at the same time awards three years punishment to the husband who pronounced Triple Talaq for the crime (divorce) which doesn’t take place. 

Dr Illyas, who is also a working committee member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), condemned the BJP government for mocking the laws and making a civil matter, criminal in nature. 

He questioned the BJP government’s insensitiveness and impracticality for including the clause in TT Bill of providing maintenance to the wife and children while serving three years sentence in jail for pronouncing triple talaq to his wife. 

Dr Ilyas reminded that this bill had no support in the upper house and got passed in the lower house only because it had numbers. He also said that BJP party is not a benefactor of muslim woman as it claims, if it was concerned of woman it would have made a law in respect to the woman in other communities whose husbands mercilessly desert them without even divorcing them leaving them in a lurch, he argued. 

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2018 was passed by the Lower House with 245 voting in favor and 11 opposing the legislation. The bill will now go to Rajya Sabha for approval. Congress, TMC, AIADMK and RJD staged a walk out with their demand to refer the legislation to a joint select committee which was rejected by the government. 

Congress MP Sushmita Dev said the real purpose of the bill was not to empower Muslim women but to “penalise” Muslim men. She also maintained that the criminalization of triple talaq goes against the Supreme Court verdict. 

Several women activists also criticised over the passing of the bill, asking how the law can be different for different communities. “Why such an offence (abandoning wives) when committed by a non-Muslim man is considered to be a civil offence and the same is being criminalised when committed by a Muslim man,” asked secretary of All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) Kavita Krishnan. 

“I think the fundamental objection that my organisation, AIPWA, and other women groups had on this bill stands. We had objected to the offence of instant triple talaq being criminalised. Our position is that there is no basis to make this a criminal offence,” Krishnan was quoted by TOI. She said a wrongful attempt to divorce or deserting a wife must be a civil offence and not a criminal one. 

Annie Raja, general secretary, National Federation of Indian Women, termed the bill a “fraud” and said the “government has taken this step for political gains in view of the upcoming elections to polarise the country”. 

However, on the side of the BJP the bill was hailed with wide applause. BJP party chief Amit Shah took it to Twitter and congratulated Modi govt for passing the bill in Lok Sabha. “This is a historic step ensuring equality and dignity for the Muslim women”, Shah wrote on Twitter. Union Minister Smriti Irani even compared the Triple Talaq practice with Sati and dowry practice. While addressing a parliamentary session on Triple Talaq issue, she said the bill would empower the women in Muslim community.