A 45-year-old Class I government employee was sentenced to a year in jail by a court in Palanpur of Gujarat’s Bankaskantha district on Wednesday for attempting to divorce his wife of seven years through “triple talaq”.
This is possibly the first conviction in a triple talaq case in Gujarat, public prosecutor Sanjay Joshi said.
The court of additional senior civil judge G S Darji sentenced Sarfarazkhan Bihari, a deputy engineer, to a year in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on him.
The accused man’s aggrieved wife, Shehnazbanu, had in September 2019 approached Palanpur (west) police station and an FIR was registered under relevant sections of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 and the Indian Penal Code.
The 2019 Act declares the instant divorce granted by pronouncement of “talaq” thrice as void and illegal and provides for imprisonment of up to three years and a fine to the husband.
Mr Bihari got married to the complainant in June 2012, and they were blessed with a daughter. Later, Mr Bihari was transferred to Dantiwada town as a deputy engineer in the government’s Sipu pipeline project and there, he fell in love with a Hindu co-worker, the complainant’s lawyer Govind Makwana said.
When Mr Bihari’s family found out about the matter, the complainant’s wife father met his father and they decided to shift the couple to a separate rented house in Palanpur city, he said.
While they were living there, the mother and sister of the accused visited them, following which, they quarrelled and the accused got angry, beat up his wife and pronounced “talaq” thrice to divorce her, Mr Makwana said.
An FIR was registered in this regard under sections 498 (A) (harassment of a woman), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), among others of IPC, and sections 3 and 4 of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, he said.
The court sentenced Mr Bihari to a year in jail under the 2019 Act, a year in jail under section 498 (A) of IPC and six months under section 323 of the IPC, with the sentences running concurrently.
The public prosecutor, on behalf of the plaintiff, made oral arguments seeking that an example be set in the society through punishment of the accused.
The judge took into consideration the written arguments of the petitioner’s lawyer and oral arguments of the public prosecutor, and sentenced Mr Bihari to one year in jail, the complainant’s lawyer said.
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