Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm ahead of debate on Triple Talaq Bill today

The upper house was adjourned till 2 pm after AIADMK members disrupted proceedings over the Cauvery River water issue.

New Delhi: Ahead of the tabling of crucial Triple Talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, the upper house was adjourned till 2 pm after AIADMK members disrupted proceedings over the Cauvery River water issue.

As soon as papers were laid, AIADMK members trooped into the well of House raising the Cauvery issue and shouting slogans "We want Justice". Some DMK members too were on their feet.

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh made a fervent appeal to AIADMK members to return to their seats so that zero hour mention could be taken up, but the same went unheeded.

As the sloganeering continued, the Deputy Chairman adjourned the House till 2 pm.

The ruling BJP has issued a whip in the Upper House asking its members to be present. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will table the Triple Talaq Bill in the upper house.

Meanwhile, the Congress has maintained that it will not allow its passage in the present form.

The bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha -- 245 voting in favour and 11 opposing it -- on Thursday amid a walkout by the Opposition.

However, Prasad had on Friday claimed the bill will find support in the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP-led NDA lacks numbers.

On Saturday, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary K C Venugopal told reporters in Kochi that the party would join hands with others to prevent the bill from getting passed in the House. He said 10 opposition parties had openly come out against the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 when it was introduced in the Lok Sabha.

The fresh Bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in 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 the 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 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. Introducing the bill, the Law Minister had said despite the Supreme Court striking down the practice of talaq-e-biddat (instant triple talaq), terming it unconstitutional, divorces in this form were taking place.

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