Lok Sabha Current Affairs - 2019

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Lok Sabha passes Triple talaq Bill

The Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriages) Bill 2017 dclaring instant triple talaq illegal and criminalises it with up to three years in jail for the husband. The bill will now will be sent to the Rajya Sabha for passage before it is forwarded to the President for assent to come into force as law.

Key Features of Bill

The Bill makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form (text message, email etc) to be void and illegal i.e. not enforceable in law. It defines talaq as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq pronounced by Muslim husband resulting in instant and irrevocable divorce to his wife.

It refers Talaq-e-biddat to practice under Muslim personal laws where pronouncement of word ‘talaq’ thrice in one sitting by Muslim husband to his wife results in instant and irrevocable divorce.

Offence and penalty: It makes declaration of talaq a cognizable and non-bailable offence i.e. offence for which police officer may arrest an accused person without warrant. Moreover, if Muslim husband declaring triple talaq can be imprisoned for up to 3 years along with a fine.

Allowance: It entitles Muslim woman against whom triple talaq has been declared to seek subsistence allowance from her husband for herself and for her dependent children. First Class Magistrate will decide this allowance amount.

Custody of minor children: Muslim woman against whom triple talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek custody of her minor children. First Class Magistrate will make determination of custody of her minor children.

Background

The Constitutional bench of Supreme Court in 3:2 majority judgment (verdict) given in August 2017 had declared Islamic practice of instant divorce through triple talaq as unconstitutional, illegal and void and not protected by Article 25 (freedom of religion) of the Constitution. The three majority judges had held that triple talaq is manifestly arbitrary and violative of the constitution and fundamental right under Article 14 (equality before law) so it must be struck down.

Comment

It was alleged that practise of triple talaq adversely impact rights of women to a life of dignity and is against constitutional principles such as gender equality, secularism, international laws etc. It also undermines gender equality is a sacred principle of our constitution and modern society. Even 21 Islamic theocratic countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan have abolished it.

Lok Sabha passes GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha has passed the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2017. The Bill amends the GST (Compensation to States) Act, 2017 and replaces an Ordinance promulgated in September 2017.

The amendment bill increases maximum rate at which Compensation Cess can be levied from 15 to 25% on motor vehicle for transport of not more than 13 persons (mostly luxury vehicles ), including the driver and motor vehicles falling under mentioned sub-headings

GST (Compensation to States) Act, 2017

The purpose this law is to provide compensation to state for a period of five years from the date on which the state brings its State GST Act into force. It allows the Union Government to notify rate of the GST Compensation Cess on items such as pan masala, coal, aerated drinks, and tobacco, subject to certain caps. The amount received by levying GST Compensation Cess is used to compensate states for any loss in revenue following the implementation of GST. The receipts from the cess will be deposited to a GST Compensation Fund. The receipts will be used for compensating states for any loss due to the implementation of GST.