Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die (with no appointed date for resumption) on Friday, bringing an end to the Winter Session. Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu said the Upper House passed nine bills this session. Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Lok Sabha proceedings on Friday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress had both issued whips to their MPs to be present in Rajya Sabha as the bill seeking to criminalise triple talaq was on the agenda for debate. The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill and the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill were also expected to come up for discussion.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 – which proposes a three year jail term for husbands who divorce their wife by uttering “talaq” three times – will now be deferred to the Budget Session. The BJP has been unable to convince the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, where it is in minority, to budge from its stand to have the bill forwarded to a parliamentary committee for further scrutiny.
Opposition parties led by the Congress raised concerns over the jail term the bill proposes, questioning who would provide for the family if the husband was in prison. They want the legislation to include provisions for financial aid to Muslim women and suggested government aid, as well.