Representational Pic
Representational Pic

A 35-year-old man has been booked by Mumbra police under the newly passed triple talaq Act after he allegedly divorced his wife on WhatsApp. This is probably the first case in Maharashtra under the new triple talaq law.

According to the Indian Express, the case has been registered by the victim, Jannat Begum Patel, 31, against her husband Imtiyaz Ghulam Patel, 35, and his family members. The police said that after three years of marriage, the husband gave the woman talaq as he was allegedly having an extramarital affair. He was booked around 9.30 pm on Thursday after the woman approached the Thane Commisionerate office in the morning.

An first information report (FIR) has been filed against Jannat Begum's husband Patel, invoking relevant provisions of the section 4 of the new Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Act, 2019, plus IPC sections 498 and 406. Besides the husband, the police have booked his mother Rehana Ghulam Hussain Patel, and his sister Sultana Ghulam Hussain Patel in the case. The 31-year-old woman, a MBA graduate, in her statement to the police has alleged that she married the 35-year-old on September 7, 2015. For both, it was their second marriage. However, from the first day of the wedding, her husband and in-laws started harassing her, she claimed.

Speaking to mediapersons with a veil on her face, the victim recounted her ordeal at the hands of her husband and how he pronounced the now-banned 'triple talaq' last November when she was seven months pregnant. She said her child was later born premature due to the shock of the divorce. She added that she was tortured for dowry, abused by her husband and in-laws and then left to fend for herself and her baby after the 'triple talaq', but she was fortunate that her parents took care of her.

In September 2017, the woman allegedly came to know that her husband was having an extramarital affair. On November 30, 2018, after a heated argument, the man allegedly texted her the word ‘talaq’ thrice on WhatsApp. He then called her up and uttered ‘talaq’ thrice over the phone as well.

Jannat added that after the triple talaq was pronounced over phone and WhatsApp message, she had filed a case when the Ordinance was in force, but no action was taken. "After it became a law yesterday, a Mumbai NGO, Aurat-e-Shariyat advised me to file a fresh complaint under the new provisions. I did that and the police have taken cognisance," said Jannat.

An officer told the Indian Express, “We are yet to make an arrest. So far, we have learnt that the accused used to work as a sales executive in Abu Dhabi. His wife claims that he is now staying with his new wife in Vikhroli. We are trying to trace him.”

President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday gave his assent to the Triple Talaq Bill, making the practice of giving instant triple talaq orally a criminal offence with provisions of a jail term of upto three years. The Triple Talaq Bill or Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 which prohibits divorce by pronouncing "talaq" thrice in one occasion by a husband, was recently passed by both Houses of Parliament. First, it was passed by the Lok Sabha on July 25 despite the opposition's demand for its scrutiny by a Standing Committee, and subsequently, it was passed by the Rajya Sabha last Tuesday.

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