A Jaipur woman approached the Supreme Court against the triple talaq system after her husband divorced her under the Muslim practice over a letter sent via speed post.
Aafreen Rehman says after her marriage in August 2014, her husband repeatedly beat her over dowry demands for months. In January 2016, she got a letter where her husband -- Ashar Warsi – questioned her character and declared divorce through triple talaq.
“I was angry at the sheer injustice. He never once spoke to me about it. I want to know if there was any valid reason for the talaq,” said Rehman, an MBA graduate and a top professional in a private firm.
The 28-year-old is the second Muslim woman after Shayara Bano of Uttrakhand to challenge the triple talaq system in the apex court.
Aafreen said Muslim women progressed in their outlook but men were still regressive. “Men need to change their outlook. They are misusing the rights given to them by the Quran.”
The triple talaq – under which Muslim men can divorce their wives by using the word talaq (divorce) thrice – is one of the most controversial practices of the Muslim personal law. Activists have long argued the ritual is loaded against women.
Aafreen’s sister Naseem said the match was fixed through a matrimonial website and the marriage conducted in August 2014. Warsi, was a lawyer from a prominent Muslim family in Indore.
Aafreen’s father passed away in 2009 and Warsi’s family’s expectations of dowry were met by her brothers who took loans to give a cheque of Rs10 lakh to the boy’s side, Naseem said.
But a few months later, her husband and mother-in-law started taunting her for dowry, Aafreen said.
The fights got worse and a year into her marriage in August 2015 when Ashar beat her up and threw her out of the house. In September, he hit her again and she returned to her parent’s house.
During that period, Aafreen was travelling with her mother to Jodhpur when their bus met with an accident and her mother passed away. Her husband came to her house for 10 days and was very caring, said Aafreen.
But in January 2016, she got Warsi’s letter, where he alleged she was greedy for property and declared triple talaq.
“He cut off all contact. He changed his number, unfriended me on Facebook, blocked me on WhatsApp. When my sister and I went to Indore to meet them, their house was locked,” Aafreen said.
The top court issued notices to her husband, the Centre, the ministry of minority affairs, ministry of law and justice and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board to give their replies within 30 days.