Woman uses Facebook to annul her marriage | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 13, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:19 AM, October 13, 2017

Woman uses Facebook to annul her marriage

A young Indian woman has proved in court she was illegally married off as a minor after submitting evidence from her husband's Facebook page, a child rights activist said yesterday.

Sushila Bishnoi, 19, appealed to a court in Rajasthan state to dissolve her underage marriage, an illegal but rife tradition in many parts of rural India.

But her husband denied the couple were ever betrothed, threatening to scuttle her case.

The teenager, aided by an activist, trawled her husband's Facebook accounts until they found the smoking gun that proved their marriage occurred when she was underage.

"Many of his friends had posted congratulatory messages on his Facebook page," said Kriti Bharti, an activist whose Sarathi Trust charity has annulled many child marriages in Rajasthan.

"The court accepted the evidence and declared the marriage invalid," she said of the ruling Monday.

The couple were married at a secret wedding ceremony in Barmer district in 2010 when both were just 12 years old.

Girls married off in Rajasthan often remain with their parents after the wedding ceremony until reaching 18 years of age, when they are sent to live their husbands.

India's highest court Wednesday declared sex with a minor akin to rape even if the couple was married, a landmark ruling that closed a legal loophole around child marriage.

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