Husband Divorced His Wife On A WhatsApp Call
In classical Islamic law, Talaq or divorce refers to the husband’s right to dissolve the marriage by simply announcing to his wife that he repudiates her. This practice is prevalent among many preachers of Islam.
In a recent case, a 42-year-old woman from Bhopal, India registered a police complaint against his husband who gave her talaq (divorce) over a WhatsApp call. The news garnered immense attention because Triple Talaq (Divorce based on Islamic Law) is illegal in India. In 2019, the Government of India passed a law deeming triple talaq or verbal divorce illegal under Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act. According to the Act, any practice of verbal divorce is liable to be penalized with three years of imprisonment of the accused (husband), along with a hefty fine. It is a cognizable and non-bailable offense.
- A 42-year-old woman has registered an FIR against her husband for harassing her for dowry and giving her divorce over a WhatsApp call.
- MP Chief Minister, Shivraj Chauhan, has spoken to the Director-General of Police and has assured justice to the woman.
- Under Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, verbal divorce or Triple Talaq is a non-bailable criminal offense
- The Dowry system is also illegal in India under the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961.
Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019
According to Clause 3 in Chapter 2 of the Bill, “any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal”.
Punishment for pronouncing Triple Talaq
Clause 3 also states that “whoever pronounces Triple Talaq upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and fine”.
According to Clause 7 (c) in Chapter 3, “No person accused of an offense punishable under Triple Talaq law shall be released on bail after the Magistrate, on an application filed by the accused and after hearing the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq was pronounced, is convinced that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail to the accused”.
Custody of children
Clause 6 in Chapter 3 of the Bill states that “a married Muslim woman shall be entitled to custody of her minor children in the event of pronouncement of talaq by her husband, in such manner as may be determined by the Magistrate”.
Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 was a milestone in women’s rights, and freedom in India. However, it was met with backlash from some sections of Muslim men and women across the country.
If we leave those dissenting voices aside, then the Act was actually a ray of hope and justice for women who were kicked out of their houses simply because their husbands said the word ‘talaq’ thrice. There are thousands of women in India who have been a victim of triple talaq. Their lives were destroyed because their husbands refused to take care of them, they broke off the marriage and left their wives and children to fend for themselves. Even today, many divorced women live in despicable conditions because of this draconian discriminatory practice.
The response of Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Miniter
On hearing the case of the 42-year-old woman, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan took to twitter to update the public on the issue, “I assured her that Madhya Pradesh police will make all possible efforts to ensure that she gets justice.” He added, “I have spoken to the Director-General of Police (DGP) on the issue and asked him to coordinate with the Bengaluru police for taking proper action for getting justice to the Muslim sister.” He also tweeted, “No one is allowed to play with a woman’s reputation.”
No action has yet been taken against the accused Husband who committed the crime of verbal divorce. He is also accused of harassing his wife for dowry, which too is a criminal offense under the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961.
Related Article: Normal To See A Man Beat His Wife
Feature Image Credit: The Tribune
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Prakriti S is a foodie, wildlife photographer, geo-politics enthusiast, and a woman activist.