It’s only been a few days since the controversial practice of ‘triple talaq’—where a Muslim man could say ‘talaq' three times to instantly divorce his wife without requiring court-sanctioned papers to go with it—has been made a criminal offence, but someone has already tried to use it on the sly. A man identified as Abdul Raheem Khan from Uttar Pradesh, who has been working in Saudi Arabia since 2014, called up his wife, muttered the word three times, and then disconnected the phone.
Khan married 25-year-old Fatima Khatoon in the city of Kushinagar, but left looking for work in Saudi Arabia four months into their marriage. Her father told the police that while Khan would visit his parents, he felt as if he was always mistreating his daughter and that she was also being harassed by her in-laws. Finally, on July 31, right when Khatoon was in the middle of some housework, her father-in-law handed her the phone saying her husband would like to talk to her. But as soon as she put the phone against her ear, all she heard was the word 'talaq' said thrice.
Khatoon told reporters on Saturday that her father-in-law had handed her cheques for Rs 1.5 lakh as 'compensation' at a village council on Friday before throwing her out of his home.
However, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill prescribing up to three years imprisonment for men giving instant triple talaq to their wives was passed by Parliament on July 30. President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the triple talaq bill on August 1.
R.N. Misra, Superintendent of Police, Kushinagar, said, "Taking action on the complaint of the woman's father, a case has been registered against the woman's husband under Section 4 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act. We are probing the role of all the people involved and are taking statements of both sides. Since the accused is in Saudi Arabia, we are sending notice through proper channel."
Even as there is a new bill opposing the divorce law, the triple talaq has been an intensely debated topic over the years. This recently passed bill was meant to replace the 2018 ordinance against triple talaq and make the sexist practice, which Muslim men could use to abandon their wives, a thing of the past.
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