New Delhi, Jan 4: Numbers do matter, especially in Parliament.
The fact has been aptly proved after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre faced stiff resistance from opposition parties to pass the triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha, where it does not have a majority, on Wednesday.
Succumbing to the demand of the Opposition, the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has now agreed to send the bill to a Parliament panel for review, stated reports.
Thus the contentious bill can now be passed only in the next session of Parliament --the panel will have to be constituted and then it will scrutinise the bill and suggest changes, reported NDTV.
Members of the ruling party and the Opposition extensively debated over the bill on Wednesday. During the debate, the non-NDA parties remained firm on their stand that first the bill should be sent to the selection panel before any discussion could be started on it on the floor of the House.
Recently, the contentious Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 was passed in the Lok Sabha where the government enjoys an absolute majority.
The Opposition is mainly contesting the bill on the provision that it criminalises triple talaq. The Congress, which supported the bill in the Lok Sabha, says that it opposes the criminalisation part of it.
The bill makes instant triple talaq or "talaq-e-biddat" illegal and provides for a jail term of up to three years for the husband. The offence has been made cognizable and non- bailable.
On August 22 last year, the Supreme Court banned the practice of instant triple talaq, (the practice under which a Muslim man can divorce his wife by simply uttering the word "talaq" three times) calling it unconstitutional.
The SC said triple talaq violates the fundamental rights of Muslim women as it irrevocably ends a marriage without any chance of reconciliation. It was a historic day for the women's rights movement in India.
Now, Muslim women have to wait for a few more months to know the final fate of the bill.