Just two weeks before the Rajya Sabha finally passed the Bill criminalising Triple Talaq, former Bhojpuri and Hindi film actor Alina Shaikh's husband Muddasir Baig discovered a new method to dissolve a marriage. She alleged that he sent her a 'talaqnama' on a Rs 100 stamp paper as the first announcement. The remaining two would follow, he has told her.
The Triple Talaq Bill is yet to get the Presidential assent. But has Baig found a method to circumvent the law? The police have already told Alina they can't act against him yet.
She said that Baig sent her the talaqnama on a Rs 100 stamp paper on July 17. "I've filed a police complaint. I don't accept this divorce. Police says they can't register an FIR before counselling."
Alina alias Rashma Bi, 34, who lives in Chandan Nagar area, says Baig refuses to consider this a Triple Talaq. He calls it "Talaq-e-Bain", which frees her from the bond of marriage. "I refuse to accept this one-sided divorce," she said.
"We had a love marriage in 2016. I quit my profession after getting married. I have a two-month-old child. I want to live with my husband," she added.
Chandan Nagar police station Inspector Rahul Sharma said: "This is a dispute between a husband and wife, and the police can file a criminal complaint after counselling the couple."
Baiq could not be contacted. Sharia experts say that "Talaq-e-Bain" is different from Triple Talaq or "Talaq-e-Biddat".
Alina said that Baig suddenly disappeared earlier this month. When she filed a report in the police station, they tried to trace him. He confirmed his return to the police but sent the divorce note on stamp paper. Alina again approached Chandanagar police to file a complaint against Baig.
Recounting the past, Alina said that five years ago, Baig expressed his love for her and when she refused to marry him, he threatened to end his life. Both of them then got married nearly three years ago. She gave birth to a son two months ago.
On July 9, Baig left home unannounced. Alina feared that he had been kidnapped and lodged a report. The police checked Baig's phone call details and found he was in contact with his mother, brother and sister. Under pressure, he appeared at the police station and informed them Alina no longer wants to stay with him.
According to Alina, Baig has already blown up huge amount of money and now his mother wants him to marry another woman. He had come to her and handed the talaqnama and lawyer's notice. "This is the first talaq ... I will send the other two later," he told her.
Alina said their two-month old child is very ill and has just been discharged from the hospital, but Baig left without seeing his son. She said that this form of divorce is no different from Triple Talaq and could ruin the lives of many women.
Indore is where the triple talaq issue caught the nation's attention through the efforts of Shah Bano -- its most acknowledged victim -- who was divorced by her well-known lawyer husband Ahmed Khan (he had studied law in England) in 1978 and had to leave home with their five children. She was resolute enough to move the Supreme Court which gave a verdict in her favour in 1986 for substantial maintenance.
Under pressure from orthodox Muslim leaders, the government changed the law to deny Shah Bano justice. She died in 1992 without getting her due.
Her grandson Zuber Ahmed believes the new law on Triple Talaq fails to get justice to victims like Shah Bano who had fought for substantial maintenance from her husband while her husband wasn't willing to offer enough for her to subsist on.