Triple talaq bill: Government eyes Ordinance

Telangana: With the Rajya Sabha in uproar for the third day running over the Muslim Women (Security 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 until the next Budget Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to push the legislation through by providing an Ordinance instead, sources said.

The Ordinance will be valid for 180 days from the date of promulgation.

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.

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“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 govt needs to place the copy of the Ordinance before both the Houses. It is not compulsory for the govt 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 arrogate the Bill to replace the Ordinance, or wait until Rajya Sabha has biennial elections to fill 68 positions in three months.

Surveys suggest that the BJP will soon get a majority in the Upper House. Once the BJP has the numbers in its favor, 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.

Central Finance minister Arun Jaitley contended the aspirations 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.

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