Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Goel on Wednesday said the Centre will present the triple talaq bill in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. The Centre had tabled the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, last week in the Lower House.

In September, the Union Cabinet had approved the ordinance on the bill after failing to get Parliament to pass legislation on the matter. The ordinance criminalises the practice of Muslim men divorcing their wives by uttering the word “talaq” three times in any form – spoken, written, or via electronic communication. It also has a provision for a three-year jail term for men who violate the law.

The bill has earlier faced stiff resistance in the Rajya Sabha. Several Opposition lawmakers called for it to be sent to a select committee for close scrutiny. Opposition parties led by the Congress had concerns about the jail term the bill proposed.

On Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party issued a three-line whip to its Lok Sabha members asking them to be present in Parliament on Thursday when the bill will be taken up for discussion. On December 21, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharhe had told Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan that his party was ready to participate in a discussion on the bill on December 27.

“An ordinance on triple talaq will be presented as a bill in the Lok Sabha tomorrow, hence the BJP has issued a whip,” Goel told ANI on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has called on Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to stall the passage of the bill. AIMPLB secretary Zafaryab Jilani said a delegation of the board has met leaders of many Opposition parties, including the All India Anna Dravida Kazhagam, Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, the Hindustan Times reported.

In November, the Supreme Court had refused to hear a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the ordinance. The court had observed that the Winter Session of Parliament was nearing and that ordinances lapse if Parliament fails to pass them as legislation within six weeks of reassembly.