Man hands out triple talaq through WhatsApp

Man hands out triple talaq through WhatsApp

A 21-year-old female BDS student in Kerala was handed out a triple talaq by her husband on WhatsApp, about a month after their wedding.

The incident, happened in early 2014, came to light after the girl, a native of Cherthala in Alappuzha district, approached the Kerala Women’s Commission (KWC) during one of its monthly adalats.

The girl was married to a 27-year-old man from Vaikom in Kottayam district in February 2014. She was in the third year of her BDS course when the wedding happened. The groom, after spending 10 days with the girl, left for Bur Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where he worked.

Despite repeated calls and texts from the girl, he remained elusive for a month before messaging her on WhatsApp: “You should not be contacting me. I don’t like you and can’t live with you”. He followed it with a proclamation of the triple talaq.

KWC member J Prameela Devi who is following up on the complaint said the accused man’s family was summoned for a hearing in connection with the incident but they were yet to respond.

“The girl finally managed to get him on the phone but he reiterated his stand with a strange bit of reasoning. He told the girl that one has to look for variety and can’t keep having the “same fruit” all the time,” Prameela Devi told Deccan Herald on Wednesday.

The KWC is in touch with experts in Muslim marriage laws over validity of a talaq message delivered on social media.

The groom’s family has not returned the Rs 10 lakh and 80 sovereigns of gold received in dowry. The girl’s family is in a deep financial crisis and her mother is learnt to be borrowing money from neighbours to even travel to the adalat venue.

Validity questioned
Prameela Devi said experts including prominent writer-activist M N Karassery had questioned the validity of the WhatsApp talaq.

“There are certain conditions that govern a formal talaq that have clearly not been followed here. It also involves formal discussions between both families before the talaq is formalised,” an Islamic scholar and expert in marriage laws said.

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