New Delhi: There was a fierce slugfest in the Rajya Sabha between the BJP and the Congress as soon as Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tabled the triple talaq Bill, forcing Deputy chairman PJ Kurien to adjourn the House for the day.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, seeks to criminalise instant divorce by uttering talaq thrice. As soon as the Rajya Sabha convened after three adjournments at 3pm, the triple talaq Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha last week, was tabled in the House. “Even after passage of the triple talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha, the practice is continuing. A woman in Moradabad was given triple talaq over dowry,” Prasad said.

However, Congress leader Anand Sharma demanded that the Bill be sent to a Parliamentary Select Committee and also proposed names of the panel members. To this, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of double speak, saying they had supported the Bill in the Lok Sabha. “The whole country is watching that in the other House you supported the Bill and in this House you are trying to derail it,” he said.

Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Arun Jaitley said the Congress support in the Lok Sabha on the triple talaq Bill was a sham. “It is clear that the Congress is opposing the triple talaq Bill. The support they extended in the Lok Sabha was a sham. Today was a golden moment for the House to end the injustice, but because of the Congress it could not happen,” Jaitley said.

TMC leader in the Rajya Sabha, Derek O’ Brien said the Bill was a faulty one. “We are all for this Bill; it is a faulty Bill. No women’s groups, stakeholders were consulted. All we ask for is that talk to all stakeholders,” he said.