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'Absolute Priority': Maneka Gandhi Steps In as Bengaluru Woman Gets Triple Talaq Via WhatsApp

Taking to Twitter, the women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi, said she had reached out to Reshma Azeez’s, who was allegedly given triple talaq over WhatsApp by her US-based husband and requested details of the case.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:December 29, 2018, 6:48 PM IST
Bengaluru: Taking cognizance of a News18 report, Union minister Maneka Gandhi on Saturday assured help to a Bengaluru woman who was allegedly given triple talaq over WhatsApp by her US-based husband — the first case of instant divorce to come to light following the passing of a bill criminalising the offence in the Lok Sabha.

Taking to Twitter, the women and child development minister said she had reached out to Reshma Azeez’s and requested details of the case.

“My ministry @MinistryWCD has taken up case of #TripleTalaq on absolute priority. The first instance post the passing of the bill, criminalising the act of instant divorce in the Muslim community will be dealt with and we shall ensure that justice is done,” she said.

News18 had reported on Reshma's plight on Friday. She had married Javeed Khan, a surgeon by profession, in 2003, and trouble started within six months. In the initial days of the marriage, the couple lived in UK and then moved to the US. Last month, Khan brought Reshma back to Bengaluru. He later returned to the US, taking all her documents along.

“He started abusing me emotionally and kept insulting me,” Reshma said in a police complaint. She also alleged that Khan never asked for a legal divorce, but had been asking her to leave.

Khan had allegedly told her that he wanted to resolve the issues between them after speaking with the families. The couple have two children aged 13 and 10.

"Once we reached, he left with his family, while I was stranded at the airport. He had taken away my passport, academic certificates and other identity cards. On December 4, a day after I filed the police complaint, he sent me talaq on WhatsApp," Azeez told News18. She hasn’t been able to contact him since.

The message from Javeed, which was also sent to their family group reads, "TALAQ I am sending this message in my full sense and I am not under any influence of anger or intoxication. ALLAH as my witness. I, Dr. JAVEED KHAN (dob 01/19/1976), son of late Taj Ahmed pronounce TALAQ (Divorce) to RESHMA AZEEZ (dob 12/06/1978), daughter of Mr. Azeezuddin, according to ISLAMIC LAW OF SHARIAH, Meher has been completely fulfilled [sic]".

The children continue to live with Khan in Illinois, while he has allegedly cut off all communication with his wife. "I speak to my children through their school staff now," Reshma said.

Reshma had has alleged that her email accounts and bank cards have also been blocked. A senior police officer said Khan was out of the country by the time the complaint was lodged. The airport authorities would inform them once he returns. The officer also said that the police are not aware of the WhatsApp talaq as it may have been given after the complaint was filed.

In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court had struck down the validity of instant triple talaq among Muslims, following which the government had brought in an ordinance to criminalise the offence. A bill to replace that ordinance was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday amid a walkout by opposition. It now awaits the Rajya Sabha test.

(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
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