A Muslim man living in Dubai divorced his 21-year-old wife in Kerala by sending her a message on WhatsApp, just after 30 days of their marriage.
According to Times of India, the 27-year-old husband left for Dubai 10 days after the marriage and within three weeks send a message on WhatsApp, which said - "Talaq, Talaq, Talaq."
When the shocked family of the girl enquired with the groom as why he was taking such a drastic step, "...he said she was like an apple and he had already tasted it. So he did not want her anymore," Kerala Women's Commission member J Prameela Devi told TOI.
The girl, who was a student at a dental college, had to discontinue her studies for the marriage, so as to pay the groom a dowry of Rs 10 lakh and 80 gold sovereigns. After the divorce over the WhatsApp, the girl had to even leave her in-laws' house, it is reported.
The girl finally filed a complaint with the Kerala Women's Commission's adalat in Pala, Kottayam, which has questioned the validity of a 'WhatsApp talaq'.
The commission has ordered the department of Non Resident Keralites' Affairs (NORKA) to find the woman's husband, a resident of Vaikom in Kottayam. The local police also have been instructed to present the man's parents before the commission.
While the wronged Muslim woman is waiting justice, authorities in Kerala are debating on the validity of such a divorce. A member of the Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Ulama said that the talaq is valid. Sayyed Attakoya Thangal, the district president of the Ulama said, "The divorce, however, will be granted only after holding discussions with both the man and wife and their family members. If the husband sticks to his stand, divorce will be sanctioned."
The advent of technology has led to a significant increase in the number of digital divorces in the Muslim community, reports said. However, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has clearly stated that "divorce through digital media" is not enforceable in the court of law.
"Islam and the Muslim Personal Law do not recognise this kind of practice," advocate Abdul Rahim Quraishi, assistant general secretary at the All India Muslim Personal Law Board told New Age Islam.