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Petitioners: The women behind India's instance divorce verdict

These five women led the fight against instant triple talaq

Gulf News

New Delhi: Following is a list of the five women who petitioned the Supreme Court challenging the practice of instant triple talaq, stating that not only was it discriminatory, but also violated their fundamental rights.



Shayara Bano, 36

Shayara Bano, who hails from the Kashipur district of Uttarakhand, was the first woman who challenged the controversial practice before the Supreme Court (SC). Bano holds a post graduate degree in Sociology. On October 15, 2015, she was divorced by her husband Rizwan Ahmed of 15 years who sent her a letter with the word ‘talaq’ written thrice on it. Her husband even took away her two kids. She was also forced by her in-laws to undergo multiple abortions while they were married. On February 23, 2016, Bano filed a petition against triple talaq, halala and polygamy in SC.

Reacting to the verdict, Bano said, “I welcome and support the judgment. This is a historic day for Muslim women. My 11-year-old daughter will not have to face such regressive practices when she grows up. No Muslim woman will have to go through the harassment that I suffered.”

She said the Muslim Personal Law Board needed to move with the times.

“I am not opposing them; I just want them to change,” she said.



Aafreen Rehman, 28

In 2014, Afreen Rehman got married through a matrimonial website. After a few months, Rehman’s in-laws started beating her and in September 2015 they asked her to leave their house. She went back to her parents’ house. In January 2016, Rehman, who is a post graduate in Management Studies, received a letter via speed post from her husband announcing talaq.

“I got married to an Indore-based lawyer, a match that was found through a matrimonial service, in 2014. Two years later, my husband Ashar Warsi divorced me through speed post. It was the saddest moment of my life,” Rehman told Gulf News.

On the verdict, she said, “it is a beginning towards the abolition of triple talaq in the country. A law against triple talaq is what we wanted and the court has directed the government to do the same. The cruelty that was happening against women in the name of triple talaq, wherein they were thrown out of the house like a pair of shoes, will now end.”



Gulshan Parween, 30

Gulshan Parween, hailing from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, filed a petition in SC asking for abolishing triple talaq. A post graduate in English literature, Parween was married in April 2013. In 2015, her husband sent her a talaqnama on a Rs10 (Dh0.5) stamp paper when she was visiting her parents’ house. Her husband was arrested later on charges of dowry harassment and criminal intimidation.

Earlier, when Parween refused to accept the divorce, her husband went to the local family court seeking dissolution of their marriage. Following this, she approached the apex court.

On the verdict, Parween said, “is it not unfortunate that a husband can say talaq three times and it is accepted in Muslim personal law as a divorce, but there is no provision to ask the wife if she agrees with it or not. I hail the verdict today.”



Atiya Sabri

A resident of Sahranpur in Uttar Pradesh, Atiya Sabri got married in 2012. In November, 2015, her husband Wajid Ali sent her a piece of paper announcing a divorce. She approached the apex court in January this year challenging the practice of triple talaq. Her husband was arrested later and a trial is on.

“Soon after my marriage in 2012, my in-laws started torturing me for dowry. When I could not take it anymore, I filed a complaint with the local police. But later my husband divorced me in an arbitrary manner. Talaq given to me cannot be justified. I need justice as I have to raise my daughters,” Sabri said.

She hailed the verdict.

“My life turned upside down in a minute because of the way I was divorced. Initially my family tried to reach out but my husband’s family cut us out. He did not let me meet the children. But I am happy no Muslim woman will have to undergo what I did,” she added.



Ishrat Jahan, 31

Ishrat Jahan, resident of Howrah in West Bengal, was divorced by her husband Murtaza through a phone call from Dubai. In April 2015, Murtaza called and uttered the talaq word thrice before hanging up. He even took away their four children with him. He remarried a week after arbitrarily divorcing her.

“I don’t accept the talaq by phone. I want justice. I want my three daughters and one son back from my husband who snatched them away and I want maintenance for their upbringing. That is why I had gone to the court,” she said.

Reacting to the judgement, Jahan said, “I am very happy today. The apex court issued the right directive. Now I hope to get justice. I have been fighting for the past two years. I am not against divorce, but I want the process to be fair.”

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