Instant talaq continues despite new law

If you thought the passage of the triple talaq Bill, or Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, would prove to be a deterrent to this medieval practice of giving instant divorce, here’s a reality check.

Ever since the Act got presidential assent on August 1 this year, instant talaq cases have been reported from several parts of the country with UP accounting for 21 cases, followed by Maharashtra (5), Uttarakhand (3), Odisha (3), Madhya Pradesh (3) Jharkhand (2), Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala and Gujarat (one each). While most of these cases have been triggered by demand for dowry, a few have been the outcome of innocuous requests by the victims like money to buy medicine and a small gift on Eid.

Interestingly, in many of these cases, the perpetrators have not been booked under the stringent triple talaq Act because “investigations are on” and as some of the states are yet to notify the new legislation. Though in some states arrests have been made under the new Act, elsewhere culprits have been booked for ‘dowry harassment’ and ‘domestic violence’.

Like previously, while some perpetrators have uttered talaq thrice in front of the victims, there have been instances when husbands have given instant divorce over phone and even WhatsApp.

Apart from reporting the maximum number of triple talaq incidents since August 1 this year, Uttar Pradesh has also seen a couple of gruesome cases – in one case a victim was burnt to death in front of her daughter and another victim’s nose was chopped off to force her to withdraw her complaint.

A 22-year-old woman was allegedly burnt alive by her husband and in-laws in front of her five-year-old daughter at Gadra village in Shravasti district on August 16 night after she went to lodge a police complaint on being given triple talaq. The deceased’s father Ramzan Khan has alleged that his son-in-law Nafees (26), who works in Mumbai, had given triple talaq to his daughter Sayeeda over phone on August 6.

A woman in Sitapur has alleged that her nose was cut off by her in-laws after she refused to withdraw the triple talaq case she had filed against her husband on August 8. Police said the instant talaq was pronounced over phone and counselling was being done for both sides. When the matter was taken under the new Act, the woman was allegedly beaten up by her in-laws and her nose chopped to mount pressure on her to withdraw the case.

In Unnao district, one Fakruddin gave triple talaq to his wife Shahnaz Begum in a crowded market while she was shopping with her brother and uncle. Fakruddin has been booked under the newly enacted talaq law that provides for three-year jail.

In Lucknow, one Syed Rashid allegedly gave triple talaq to his wife Simmi right inside the civil court premises in the presence of her advocate after she refused to accept a chewing gum from him, police said on Tuesday. Simmi had gone to the court for the hearing of her case of dowry harassment that she had lodged earlier against her in-laws.
In UP, triple talaq cases have been reported from Allahabad, Kushinagar, Sitapur, Hapur, Sambhal, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Agra, Mathura, Hathras, Aligarh, Firozabad, Shravasti, Unnao, Fatehpur, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, and Saharanpur.

Rajasthan registered the first case under the triple talaq Act in Ajmer on August 8, a week after Parliament passed the new bill on July 30 this year, making verbal divorce a criminal offence.

Sana, 27, a resident of the Dargah Bazaar area in Ajmer, has alleged that her 61-year-old husband Salimuddin divorced her by uttering talaq thrice and forced her out of his house. Sana had married Salimuddin, a khadim (priest) at the Ajmer dargah, in 2017. Sana is his sixth wife. Salimuddin has already divorced four of the five wives he married before Sana. He has been booked under the new law.

In Maharashtra, instant talaq cases have been reported from Mumbra, Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpada and Nashik.

Source : TOI

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