The government has chose to put the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, which seeks to criminalise instant divorce by uttering talaq thrice, for consideration on Friday - the last day of the winter session.
The government in Rajya Sabha was hoping to get a breakthrough in the standoff over the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which seeks to outlaw talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq and punish offenders with a jail term.
Talking to reporters here, AICC senior spokesperson and Leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "the Government is misleading 120 crore people of the country on the Bill".
Asked about a possibility of bringing in an ordinance till the bill cleared, Ananth Kumar parried a direct reply and said: "The dates for the budget session have already been announced".
The bill, which has divided political parties and drawn criticism from several Muslim bodies, was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 28. "It is probably for the first time that the opposition (Congress) was ready to vote but the BJP MPs and surprisingly the cabinet ministers disrupted the Rajya Sabha", he added.
The contentious bill had gathered mixed response from all parties when it was introduced in the the lower house.
The minister said it was a "shame" for the Congress that it was trying to "obstruct this part of justice" for Indian Muslim women. We can only commend the ruling party for striking a blow for the long-suffering Muslim women.
The bill, which criminalizes instant talaq among the Muslim community, is likely to be deferred to the next parliament session as the opposition build up pressure on sending the bill to a select committee. It had, however, said it might be open to accepting some of the amendments to the bill, as suggested by the Opposition.
He alleged that everyday the Congress came up with an excuse to stall the bill in the Upper House. It proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife in any form of spoken, written or by electronic means such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp. They created an impasse for the last three days of the session due to which the triple talaq bill could not be taken up, he added.