Child bride uses Facebook evidence to annul her illegal underage marriage

Thanks to Facebook evidence, an Indian child bride has convinced a court to dissolve her illegal marriage.

Nineteen-year-old Sushila Bishnoi had appealed for her marriage to be annulled, on the grounds that she was underage when it took place.

But her ex-husband denied that they were ever betrothed.

So Bishnoi, with the help of an activist, went through her ex-husband's Facebook account until she found evidence of their marriage, in the form of messages and comments left by friends.

"Many of his friends had posted congratulatory messages on his Facebook page," Kriti Bharti, an activist whose charity, Sarathi Trust, has helped annul many child marriages, told AFP.

RELATED: Human trafficking in India

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Human trafficking in India
MUMBAI, INDIA - 2009/02/01: An Indian taxi driver on the streets of Mumbai. He is a rural migrant guestworker and says openly that he and his friends tend to buy sex from Nepalese girls. Many men in India prefer the Nepalese women because of their 'innocent looks'. Many of the women and girls they pay to have sex with are sex slaves, trafficked across the border from Nepal.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MUMBAI, INDIA - 2009/01/30: Bombay. City of Dreams. For a fortunate few the dream comes true. Others may see both their dreams and their future betrayed. Every year some 12,000 girls are trafficked from Nepal to brothels in India, where already 200,000 Nepalese women and girls are working. Most of these sex slaves are conned into making the trip with offers of ficticious jobs, others are simply sold to the traffickers and brothel owners.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MUMBAI, INDIA - 2009/02/03: A man leaves a house in the red-light district where numerous Nepalese women and girls who have been trafficked across the border live and work, often as sex slaves, locked up and servicing as many as 10 men or more per day, paying off fictitious debts.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MUMBAI, INDIA - 2009/02/01: Rajan lives in the brothel area in Kamathipura where numerous Nepalese women and girls who have been trafficked across the border live and work, often as sex slaves, locked up and servicing as many as 10 men or more per day, paying off fictitious debts.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SUNAULI, NEPAL - 2009/02/07: Maiti Nepal's anti-sex slave workers, who are patrolling the Nepal/India border crossing points, find a girl on a bus who doesn?t know the name of her new alleged place of work. She?s taken off the bus by forcible means. After some quick calls she is informed that the job she was heading for in India, a job as a secretary, doesn?t exist. She lowers her gaze upon finding out. She?s sent home to her family and gets her childhood back. Maiti Nepal is an organization fighting the sex trade in Nepal and the trafficking of girls and women into India.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SUNAULI, NEPAL - 2009/02/08: Maili, who works for Maiti Nepal, questions girls and young women who may be being trafficked across the border into India as sex-slaves. She always looks the passengers in the eye and asks the young girls: 'Where are you from?' and 'how well do you know the people you are travelling with?' Maili says that it is easy to see if someone is lying. 'We ourselves have been in exactly the same situation as those we are questioning.' Each car, bicycle taxi and bus is checked. Last year 1,618 girls were rescued and got their childhood back. Approximately 12,000 broke through Maiti Nepal's cordon. The odds are on the traffickers side.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SUNAULI, NEPAL - 2009/02/08: Maili, who works for Maiti Nepal, walks through a bus looking for girls and young women who may be being trafficked across the border into India as sex-slaves. She looks the passengers in the eye and asks the young girls: 'Where are you from?' and 'how well do you know the people you are travelling with?' Maili says that it is easy to see if someone is lying. 'We ourselves have been in exactly the same situation as those we are questioning.'. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SUNAULI, NEPAL - 2009/02/10: The slave traders provide the girls with fake IDs and instructions on how to behave in order to dupe Maiti Nepal?s frontier guards. The latest smuggling trick is to hide the girls in gasoline trucks, or simply to drive past the border guards at full speed in jeeps with tinted windows. Maiti Nepal is an organization fighting the sex trade in Nepal and the trafficking of girls and women into India. They have border patrol guards manning the numerous crossing points twenty four hours a day.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - 2009/01/19: Breakfast at the Maiti Nepal Rehabilitation Center in Kathmandu. Maiti Nepal is an organization fighting the sex trade in Nepal and the trafficking of girls and women into India. About 200 women and children live at the Rehabilitation Center. Everybody here has one thing in common - they are all former sex slaves or children of sex slaves.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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"The court accepted the evidence and declared the marriage invalid," Bharti said.

Bishnoi and her now ex-husband were married at a secret wedding ceremony in the Indian state of Rajasthan in 2012 when they were both 12.

Rajasthan has the highest incidence of child marriages in the country. Girls who are wed before they are 18, typically live with their parents after the wedding ceremony until they come of age.

Bishnoi said that her parents were planning on forcing her to move to her husband's house to consummate the marriage.

"I wanted to study but my family and my in-laws wanted me to live with a drunkard," she told AFP.

"It was about life and death, and I chose to live."

The case comes just a day after India's supreme court ruled that it was illegal for men to have sex with their underage wife.

Child protection laws in the country already prohibit an adult from having sex with someone younger than 18, but there was previously an exclusion for married couples.

The new ruling, however, is restricted to just marriages involving minors. Marital rape is still within the bounds of law if the woman is not underage.

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