Triple talaq Government eyes Ordinance

Hyderabad: With the Rajya Sabha in uproar for the third day running over the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill that bars instant triple talaq, and the Opposition refusing to back down from sending it to a select committee, which could mean it will be held in abeyance till the next Budget Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to push the legislation through by issuing an Ordinance instead, sources said.

The Ordinance will be valid for six months from the date of promulgamation.

It is unlikely that the Rajya Sabha will take up the bill for a discussion and vote on it Friday, which is a non-official day. Both Houses of Parliament will adjourn sine die at the end of business on Friday. Following this, the government will seek the prorogation of the session to facilitate the issue of the Ordinance.

“Since the Lok Sabha has already passed the bill and it is under consideration in the Rajya Sabha, the Prime Minister will take the Ordinance route and make the legislation effective,” a high level source said.

When Parliament reconvenes at the end of January for the Budget Session, the government needs to place the copy of the Ordinance before both the Houses. It is not obligatory for the government to get a bill approved to replace the Ordinance in the same session.

According to sources, there are three options before the government — reissue the Ordinance after six months, after it lapses; convince the President to summon a joint sitting of both Houses to adopt the Bill to replace the Ordinance; or wait until Rajya Sabha has biennial elections to fill 68 vacancies in three months.

Reports suggest that the NDA will soon get a majority in the Upper House. Once the NDA has the numbers in its favour, it will be easier to get the Rajya Sabha nod for the bill. Sources said that while looking into all the three options, the Prime Minister is intent on taking the Ordinance route on the triple talaq bill.

On Thursday, the penultimate day of the Winter Session, the fate of the contentious triple talaq bill continued to hang in a balance with the Rajya Sabha witnessing a rancorous debate between the government and the Opposition over whether to refer it to a select committee.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley contended the resolutions moved by the Opposition to send the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill to a select committee were not according to the rules.

As the uproar continued unabated, the House was adjourned for the day.