NEW DELHI: Ruing that the triple talaq bill could not be passed by Parliament in the last monsoon session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the “whole country” stands by the Muslim women to ensure them social justice.
“Economic growth will be incomplete without social transformation. The triple talaq bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha although it could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. I assure the Muslim women that the whole country stands by them to provide them social justice,” Modi said in his monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
Riding on its overwhelming majority, the government succeeded in getting the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill passed in the Lok Sabha on December 28, 2017 – the day it was introduced in the lower House of Parliament – despite opposition’s reservation on some of its provisions.
However, in the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP is not in majority, the opposition demanded the bill be sent to a Select Committee of the House comprising members from all parties for a closer scrutiny. The government has not agreed to this demand.
The bill proposes a three-year jail term for men who divorce their wives through instant triple talaq. The Supreme Court has already declared triple talaq invalid.
Dwelling on justice for women, Modi also mentioned how his government had ensured stricter punishment for rapists.
“No civil society can tolerate any kind of injustice towards its women. The nation will not tolerate those committing rapes. With this point in view, Parliament has made a provision of strictest punishment by passing the Criminal Act Amendment Bill. Those guilty of rape will get a minimum sentence of 10 years and those found guilty of raping girls below the age of 12 years will be awarded the death sentence,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister cited the recent example from Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh where a court, after a brief hearing of two months, pronounced death sentence on two criminals found guilty of raping a minor girl.
Earlier, a court in Katni in Madhya Pradesh awarded the death sentence to the guilty after a hearing of just five days.
“This Act will play an effective role in curbing crimes against women and girls,” he said.
Modi also expressed his “heartfelt gratitude” to all the MPs for the smooth conduct of the monsoon session of Parliament.