Facebook can come in handy in some tricky times and this was proved by a young woman who proved in court that she was illegally married off as a minor by showing a photo of the marriage from her husband’s Facebook page. The marriage was annulled by the court after taking into account the evidence submitted by the young Indian woman. She proved in court that she was a child bride. The woman was illegally married off as a minor and her marriage was annulled by the court after she submitted the foolproof evidence, a child rights activist said. The young 19-year-old woman is named Sushila Bishnoi who appealed to a court in Rajasthan state to dissolve her underage marriage. Child marriage is prohibited in India and a couple of days back the Supreme Court ruled that sex during child marriage will constitute as rape.
The woman wanted her child marriage annulled but her husband denied the allegations and said that the couple was never betrothed, threatening to dismiss her case. The teenager with the help of an activist found a picture of the couple on her husband’s Facebook account that proved that her marriage occurred when she was underage. Kriti Bharti, the activist whose Sarathi Trust has helped many victims of child marriage annul their marriage said, “Many of his friends had posted congratulatory messages on his Facebook page. The court accepted the evidence and declared the marriage invalid.”
The couple was married off in Barmer, Rajasthan in a secret wedding ceremony in Barmer when both were just 12-years-old. In Rajasthan, girls married off during childhood remain with their parents until reaching 18 years of age, then they are sent to live with their husbands. Sushila Bishnoi said that her parents were pressurizing her to move to her husband’s house and consummate the marriage. Sushila Bishnoi told AFP, “I wanted to study but my family and my in-laws wanted me to live with a drunkard. It was about life and death, and I chose to live.”
She met Kriti Bharti when she ran away from her home to a shelter and who helped her to begin legal proceedings to dissolve the marriage. On Wednesday, Supreme Court decreed that sex with a minor will constitute as rape even if the couple was married, a ruling that is being hailed as a benchmark decision that closed a legal loophole around child marriage.