A woman in Hyderabad has alleged that she was given triple talaq by her husband over the phone after she gave birth to a baby girl. The incident, which took place in the city’s Tolichowki area around three weeks ago, came to light after the woman lodged a complaint with the police and approached the media.
The accused, identified as Shareef, is said to be working as a principal in a school in Tolichowki area. Speaking to reporters, the woman said that the marriage took place on January 6, 2017 and everything was smooth for the first month.
“They didn’t ask for any dowry before marriage, but still we gave whatever we could afford. A month into the marriage, he started torturing me asking what my family has given them. They used to beat me even when I was pregnant. My mother-in-law also used to thrash me. After the girl child was born around three months ago, the torture increased. Mentally they harassed me, till I started suffering from depression. Then they called my parents who brought me back home. I even had to get admitted to the hospital,” the woman alleged.
She also claimed that she had a strong suspicion that the accused was having an affair.
“Once I returned to my parent’s house, he called me and pronounced triple talaq over the phone. Then a divorce declaration came home even though I pleaded with them not to do so. I want justice. I don’t want him to ruin another woman’s life in this manner,” the woman added.
She also alleged that she was being intimidated and threatened ever since she approached the police and filed a complaint.
Speaking to the media, Inspector Manjula from the Central Crime Station (CCS) said, “The woman approached us on November 23. We offered to counsel the couple but the woman was determined that a case must be registered because she said she had undergone a lot of harassment. We registered a case and conducted an investigation.”
“We had served a notice to the husband, mother-in-law and father-in-law of the woman and they completed all the legal formalities. Last week, we learnt that the accused gave triple talaq to the woman over the phone. We are taking up investigation again and we will follow the law,” she added.
Instant triple talaq is interpreted as the Islamic practice of divorcing a woman by uttering the word 'talaq' thrice.
In August last year, in a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court by a 3-2 decision struck down the centuries-old practice of instant triple talaq among Indian Muslims as unconstitutional, manifestly arbitrary and void in law. Two judges said that it should be up to the Parliament to pass a legislation bill to officially ban the practice.
However, the minority judgment concluded that "talaq-e-biddat" was a matter of personal law of Muslims that does not breach the Constitution's Article 25 (right to practice one's religion).
In September this year, an ordinance to make triple talaq a criminal offence had been passed. Earlier this week, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, commonly known as the Triple Talaq Bill, was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
This bill makes giving triple talaq void and illegal, and is punishable by up to three years imprisonment for the man. The bill, if passed, makes it a penal offence.
"The bill was brought in as per the direction of the Supreme Court to protect the rights of Muslim women. Several Muslim women suffered due to instant talaq. This bill is in the nation's interest and constitutional," Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said before introducing the bill.
The government could not pass the bill in the Rajya Sabha during the previous monsoon session.