“Now, after the court verdict I hope no one will undergo what I went through. It was hell. My husband called me from Dubai and said talaq talaq talaq. It was so sudden. I cannot even remember the date,” said Ishrat Jehan, one of the five petitioners against triple talaq. A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a split verdict ruled that the practice of instant triple talaq in the Muslim community is unconstitutional. The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, set aside the practice by a majority of 3:2.
Ishrat was among the few Muslim women who petitioned in Supreme Court against triple talaq and now lives in Howrah with her two children. In April 2015, Jehan’s husband Md Murtaza Ansari who works in Dubai called her up and gave her talaq. Since then life has been traumatic for this mother of four. After the talaq, her children were taken away from her, she was left with no money, her husband’s brother tried to molest her and electricity at her home was snapped due to non payment.
“I was waiting for the news. This verdict will help thousands of women like me. Now Muslim women will be able to live with their head high. After the verdict I feel Muslim women will get their rights and equality back. I went to court to get justice. Now I think I will get justice. I am a religious person but I believe one should not be allowed to give talaq over phone or just by saying it thrice,” 30-year-old Jehan told The Indian Express. Ishrat is mother of three daughters and a son.
Ishrat got married in 2001, when she was just 14 in Bihar, where she and her husband lived. Later, they shifted to Pilkhana in Howrah. Ishrat then gave birth to three girl child, which made her husband angry. Despite her fourth child being a son, her husband left her to work in Dubai. In April 2015, her husband suddenly called her up and uttered the three talaqs. He never spoke to her again. Immediately, her children were taken away to Bihar, where later her husband remarried.
“After the divorce, my husband’s brother and his wife treated me badly in Howrah. My children were taken away, I was left with no money. Since the electricity connection was on their name, they did not pay and got it snapped. My husband’s elder brother molested me, I lodged a police complaint but nothing happened,” said Jehan.
“Just 15 days back two of my children, elder girl Shayestha ( 13) and my son Zaid (7) came to me. They said they cannot live there since their stepmother ill treats them. Two of my children Kehekasha(11) and Bushra (9) are there. I miss them and want them back,” said Jehan.
Jehan now somehow manages to live with financial help from her sister. “I do not know how my children will grow up. I do not have money. After Talaq over phone, not a single paisa was given for my maintenance. I have to put my children to school, buy them clothes. I am a housewife,” said Jehan who is mulling to approach the court to get maintenance for herself and her children from her husband.