Woman's Era - - Short Story -

prayed that the court be pleased to order Bil­lal to give back to her, her gold and sil­ver or­na­ments worth about Rs 3 lakh ly­ing with him.

il­lal ap­peared in the court and through his lawyer and filed a re­ply. Bil­lal's say was that he had given the talaq to Reshma be­cause she had de­lib­er­ately aborted his child. Bil­lal said that he would pay id­dat main­te­nance amount but only ` 3000. As far as rea­son­able and fair pro­vi­sion for life of ` 10 lakh, Bil­lal con­tended that he was not li­able to pay the same to Reshma.

The case was heard in the court over a stretch of six months. Wit­nesses from both sides were ex­am­ined and cross-ex­am­ined in the court. Bil­lal's ad­vo­cate con­tended that Bil­lal was jus­ti­fied in pro­nounc­ing the triple talaq as Reshma had de­lib­er­ately aborted his child. To counter this con­tention, Reshma ex­am­ined

Dr Sulekha Pan­dit as her wit­ness in the court. Dr Pan­dit ap­peared be­fore the court with all her med­i­cal records and de­posed that Reshma had a mis­car­riage and the foe­tus had half way come out of the womb and so the med­i­cal ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy had to be done or else the mother's life would have been en­dan­gered. To a query put to her by the judge, Dr Pan­dit replied that such in­ci­dents of mis­car­riage do hap­pen in young ladies for var­i­ous rea­sons. Dr Pan­dit also clearly opined that there was no sign of any forcible abor­tion of the foe­tus.

The judge while pro­nounc­ing his judg­ment ob­served that the Act un­der which the pe­ti­tion had been filed did not con­tem­plate the rea­son why the talaq was given by the hus­band. Once a Mus­lim woman was di­vorced, she could file the pe­ti­tion un­der the Act, what­ever be the rea­son for which hus­band has given talaq to her. The judge or­dered Bil­lal fo pay to Reshma ` 21,000 as and by way of id­dat main­te­nance al­lowance, and ` 6 lakh towards fair and rea­son­able pro­vi­sion for life. The judge further or­dered Bil­lal to re­turn to Reshma all her gold and sil­ver or­na­ments as listed in her pe­ti­tion or in de­fault pay her ` 3,00,000. Reshma was sat­is­fied with the judg­ment of the court. On the other hand, Bil­lal and his camp were dis­grun­tled and dis­turbed. They be­gan to protest in a loud voice that they would not pay the amounts nor would they re­turn the or­na­ments to Reshma and that they would file an ap­peal in a higher court.

his time it was Bil­lal and his fa­ther who once again ap­proached the pres­i­dent of the com­mu­nity to bring about a mu­tual set­tle­ment. But the pres­i­dent was wise enough to tell them that the order had been passed by a court of law and the same had to be obeyed by them. The case was re­ported in the news­pa­pers un­der big head lines and a pic­ture of Reshma. The read­ers’ re­ac­tion was very pos­i­tive and many of them con­grat­u­lated Reshma for her brave and coura­geous stand. Many of the read­ers com­mented that the rule of triple talaq was very harsh and in­equitable. Such a rule en­abled a Mus­lim male to dis­pose of an un­de­sir­able wife like a dirty rag.

il­lal and his fa­ther con­sulted the top most lawyers for fil­ing an ap­peal against the judg­ment. They were told that the ap­peal could be filed, but look­ing to the well-rea­soned judg­ment of the court, the pos­si­bil­ity of the amounts be­ing en­hanced could not be ruled out. Af­ter their ini­tial bravado and chest beat­ing had cooled down, Bil­lal and his fa­ther, thought it wise to sub­mit to the judg­ment of the court and to pay to Reshma all the amounts as or­dered by the court. Thus, Reshma re­ceived a to­tal amount of ` 6,21,000 from Bil­lal. She also re­ceived back all her gold and sil­ver or­na­ments.

Reshma in­vested ` 6 lakh in monthly in­ter­est the fixed de­posit scheme in her bank. She then vig­or­ously ap­plied her­self to the task of stud­ies. She ap­peared for the Std.x ex­am­i­na­tion and passed it se­cur­ing 65 per cent marks. Her par­ents were now full of pride and con­fi­dence in their daugh­ter. They did not ques­tion her in what­ever she wanted to do as they were sure that their daugh­ter would take the right steps. The judg­ment of the court had wiped off the hu­mil­i­a­tion that they had faced at the meet­ing of the com­mu­nity. Now the mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially the young and grow­ing gen­er­a­tion, looked at Reshma and her par­ents with awe and ad­mi­ra­tion.

In the pe­ti­tion, Reshma had prayed for pay­ment to her by Bil­lal, of the id­dat main­te­nance amount of Rs 30,000 and a rea­son­able and fair pro­vi­sion for life, of Rs 10,00,000. She also prayed that the court be pleased to order Bil­lal to give back to her, her gold and sil­ver or­na­ments worth about Rs 3 lakh ly­ing with him.

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