The first question that Shazia Fatima, 26, asked the inspector at the Women’s Police Station at Central Crime Station after she walked in around 11:30 am was what would happen to her case in the light of the Supreme Court verdict that invalidated triple talaq earlier this morning. Inspector Madhavi Latha tried to explain but Shazia couldn’t fully comprehend it. Shazia’s husband, Javed, a cloth salesman, after not returning home for a week, had called her and uttered talaq thrice after three years of marriage.
She lodged a complaint a fortnight ago. A sub-inspector explained to her that the apex court’s ban on triple talaq comes into effect today and that nothing can be done about cases filed till Monday. You have to consider yourself divorced, a woman, also a triple talaq victim, sitting behind, tells Shazia.
“Do you think the Supreme Court’s decision today changes anything for me, I don’t understand. If I cannot save the marriage I want to ensure that my husband returns all the money and gifts my parents gave, and gives monthly allowance for my daughter. I hear he is already preparing to marry again,’’ says Shazia. Another woman sitting next to her and browsing news on her phone says she is disappointed with the verdict. “It leaves recent triple talaq victims like me in the lurch,’’ she says. She got married six months ago and after two months of marriage, her husband got a job as cab driver in Sharjah. Two weeks after landing there, he sent a talaq message to her.
The Central Crime Station’s Women Police Station at Basheerbaug receives the highest number of complaints regarding triple talaq— at least 10 a week on an average. With a large number of men working in the Gulf, a majority of the complaints are about triple talaq being sent over phone, text messages, and lately, on WhatsApp as well. `”The women are asked to leave by the in-laws or thrown out after talaq,’’ one official said
“In cases where the husband is in Hyderabad we call him and try to counsel. In cases where the husband is abroad, we cannot do much,’’ says Inspector Madhavi Latha. A woman counselor, too, said: “Many talaq victims came asking today about the SC verdict. All of them are disappointed because it says nothing about women who became victims recently and have lodged complaints.” Meanwhile, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi said the Supreme Court verdict was not unanimous and that it would be very difficult to implement it. Owaisi said that he was only speaking on behalf of his party AIMIM. Amjedullah Khan of Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) welcomed the SC decision.