A Muslim woman from Bhopal has been given triple talaq by her husband over the phone last week. After “giving” triple talaq to the wife, the man approached a Shariyat scholar Kajiyat to inform him about the “triple talaq” and to confirm if his talaq (divorce) is valid and if he was eligible to marry again. However, the Shariyat-scholar cited the triple talaq law and refused to provide any confirmation of his divorce through the pronunciation of the word talaq thrice over the phone.
On the other hand, the wife approached the local police with the recording of the triple talaq given over the telephonic call and made a complaint against her husband, mother-in-law, and brother-in-law accusing them of harassment and dowry demands and filed a case under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019.
Sub Inspector of police of Intkhedi Police Station, Sunil Chaturvedi has informed that the 27-year-old woman is originally a resident of Islam Nagar. In 2009, she was married to Sharif Kazi of Kazi Mohalla Jatara in the Tikamgarh district. She also has three children from the marriage. Her husband, Sharif works as a cook in a hotel. The woman has leveled an accusation of dowry demands and persecution against her in-laws, alleging that the mother-in-law and the brother-in-law have been tormenting her for a sum of 5 lakh rupees and a bike as dowry. The husband also supported her in-laws in their undue demands. The in-laws are alleged to have inflicted mental torture and maltreated her by saying her parents didn’t give her any dowry at the time of marriage.
Fed up with the daily harassment, the woman had left her in-laws’ place and has been staying with her children at her parents’ house in Islamnagar, Intkhedi, for the past 3 years. Reportedly, the husband had come to meet her at her parent’s place a few days ago and she had asked him to take her back with him. But this aggravated the situation and led to a brawl between the two. The husband left the house and later called her to divorce her by pronouncing talaq three times on the phone and end the marriage.
The Muslim woman initially thought that her husband was joking saying the words of talaq. It had been around two months that she had not spoken to her husband. This time he tried to disown her and terminate their marriage by giving her “triple talaq” through the phone. He also mentioned gaining permission from the Islamic scholar to marry again. Police have initiated a case against the husband Sharif Kazi, mother-in-law Nazra Begum, and brother-in-law Nasif Kazi.
The triple talaq has been a long-followed patriarchal practice among the Muslim community in which a husband can terminate the marriage with his wife by saying the word “talaq” thrice; however, a wife never enjoyed the equality to divorce her husband by repeating the word thrice. There have been several instances of Muslim men divorcing their wives through this misogynist custom for reasons as silly as not seasoning the dishes well enough in accordance with the husband’s taste. Husbands divorcing wives through WhatsApp text by following this ritual was also rampant in the community that left the lives of numerous Muslim women destroyed.
In 2019, the BJP government helmed by Narendra Modi tabled Bill No. 247, which proposed to make triple talaq in any form—spoken, in writing, or by electronic means—illegal and void. Punishment for violating the law extends to three years imprisonment for the husband attempting a divorce by pronouncing triple talaq.
The act was met with major opposition from Islamist groups. Thousands of Burkha-clad women descended on the streets of cities and staged protests against the abolishment of triple talaq as they considered the act an attack on Sharia. However, with the perseverance of the ruling dispensation, The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 was enacted by both the Houses of Parliament, by the virtue of which, Muslim women, like the one in concern, have been able to fight for her rights legally.
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