The Bihar Post

Ignoring SC ruling, man divorces wife through video phone call for dowry in Bihar

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PATNA: A man from Bihar currently employed in United Arab Emirates (UAE) divorced his wife over video phone call for not bringing enough dowry in a setback to state government’s much-flaunted campaign against dowry launched only last month.

The campaign against dowry was launched by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on October 2 last month to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

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Rafat Taranum (27), a resident of Dhankaul village in north Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, recently received a video call from her husband Arif Jaya during which the latter hurriedly uttered the word triple talaq, instantly destroying her married life. The victim has now registered a case with the local police.

The victim woman sought the police intervention after the local village court failed to settle her issue. “The issue indeed came up for discussion at the local village court held earlier this month but it remained unresolved as the accused family remained adamant on its stand,” the local village head Meghnath Yadav told the media on Saturday.

The victim’s ordeal started in September this year after her husband reached his home from UAE to attend a marriage in the family. Shortly after the wedding was over, Arif demanded Rs 200,000 in cash, a bike and jewellery as dowry although their married had been solemnised seven years back.

“Soon after that he began harassing me on one pretext or the other and then left for UAE where is currently employed. Last month, he made a video call from there and served me instant talaq despite repeated appeals to spare me,” was how the victim told the police in her complaint.

The police have registered the complaint but said they have sought guidelines from the senior in the light of recent Supreme Court ruling setting aside the old Islamic practice in August this year.

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“I have sought guidelines from my senior over the matter,” a local police official in-charge of the investigation Sukan Sahni told the media today.

The incident comes three months after the Supreme Court by a majority verdict ruled that the Islamic practice of instant divorce through triple talaq is “illegal and unconstitutional”.

The apex court by 3:2 verdict held that the Muslim instant divorce law is against the basic tenets of Islam and asked the government to legislate a law in the Parliament.

Majority of the judges said the practice was violative of Indian constitution and retrograde. The five member bench led by Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar heard the case.

The panel of five judges had representation from different faiths – Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.

The five-judge bench comprised Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice S Abdul Nazeer. The top court had reserved its decision since the hearing concluded in May.

Featured Image caption: The victim woman Rafat Taranum (in the middle) with her parents at her Bihar home

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