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Delhi HC orders Muslim man to respond to wife’s petition challenging talaq-e-hasan notice

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The Delhi High Court has sought a response of the Delhi Police and a Muslim man whose wife has sought to declare a notice of ‘talaq-e-hasan’ sent to her as void and unconstitutional. Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma issued notice to the man, Commissioner of Delhi Police, and SHO of Dabri Police Station on the woman’s petition against talaq-e-hasan, which is one of the forms of ‘triple talaq’ among Muslims of granting divorce by husbands to their spouses.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on August 18. The woman, in her plea, sought to declare the June 2 notice of talaq-e-hasan sent to her by her husband to “void being in the form of unilateral extra judicial talaq and to be unconstitutional, arbitrary, irrational, contrary to Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution and provisions of United Nations Conventions of Human Civil Rights”.

Talaq-e-hasan is the practice by which a Muslim man can divorce his wife by saying the word “talaq” once a month, for three months. The plea also sought to direct religious groups, bodies, and leaders that “permit and propagate such practices not to force the petitioner woman to act according to the Sharia Law and accept talaq-e-hasan”. It also sought direction to the police to protect her from religious groups and bodies in case any force is used against her to accept talaq-e-hasan.

The woman claimed that she got married to the man in September 2020 and alleged that her in-laws compelled her widow mother to organise a lavish marriage ceremony and demanded dowry. She alleged that despite fulfilling their unjustified demands of cash and expensive gifts, she was tortured physically and mentally after which she filed a domestic violence complaint with the Delhi Commission for Women and also lodged an FIR in December 2021.

The plea said that to avoid any action against him and his family, the man preferred the route of talaq-e-hasan and gave her first notice just to extort her to withdraw all legal action against him. A plea challenging the validity of the practice of ‘talaq-e-hasan is also pending in the Supreme Court.

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