Religious Law

'Talaq' Text Is Valid for Divorce, Imam Says; But Bombay High Court Demands More in Different Case

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An Islamic imam who oversees a mosque in Ghaziabad, India, has declared a marriage void on the basis of a text message a man sent to his wife stating “talaq” three times.

The couple were married three months ago, but the wife returned to her parents’ home early on and declined to return to her husband’s home, according to the Press Trust of India.

According to Islamic conventions, “talaq” has to be declared three times to render a marriage invalid, the International Business Times reported. But in a different divorce case, the Bombay High Court of India ruled that the declaration (even with “shaky” eyewitness evidence) was not enough to end a marriage—much less relieve the divorcing husband of maintenance payments, the Press Trust of India reported, changing the names of the couple in its article.

Justice Ashok Pitambar Bhangale said that the law requires that a husband submit evidence that he had communicated reasons for the divorce and appointed an arbitrator to establish that a situation had arisen that made it impossible to continue the marital relationship, the Press Trust of India reported.

“Considering the facts and circumstances, it does appear that [the husband] pleaded divorce in order to avoid paying maintenance,” Justice Bhangale said.

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