Muslim women entitled to maintenance after divorce: Supreme Court : The Tribune India

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Muslim women entitled to maintenance after divorce: Supreme Court

‘After all, maintenance is a facet of gender parity and enabler of equality, not charity,’ says a Bench of Justice BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih

Muslim women entitled to maintenance after divorce: Supreme Court

Photo for representation only.



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, July 10

A Muslim woman can seek maintenance from her husband under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) as it was applicable to all married women irrespective of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

In separate but concurring judgments, a Bench of Justice BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih rejected a petition filed by Mohd Abdul Samad challenging the Telangana High Court’s order to him to pay an interim maintenance of Rs 10,000 a month to his divorced wife.

The top court rejected his argument that the provisions of Section 125 of CrPC 1973 did not prevail in light of the enactment of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.

“If Muslim women are married and divorced under Muslim law then Section 125 of the CrPC as well as the provisions of the 1986 Act are applicable. Option lies with the Muslim divorced women to seek remedy under either of the two laws or both laws. This is because the 1986 Act is not in derogation of Section 125 of the CrPC but in addition to the said provision,” the Bench said.

“After all, maintenance is a facet of gender parity and enabler of equality, not charity,” the Bench said.

The top court said a Muslim woman illegally divorced through triple talaq was also entitled to seek maintenance from her husband as per Section 125 of CrPC as his right was in addition to the remedy provided under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019, which entitled a Muslim woman to claim subsistence allowance from her husband.

“The provisions of the 2019 Act provide remedy in addition to and not in derogation of Section 125 of the CrPC,” it clarified.

It said Section 125 of the CrPC applied to all married women, including Muslim married women and all non-Muslim divorced women.

“Insofar as divorced Muslim women are concerned, Section 125 of the CrPC applies to all such Muslim women, married and divorced under the Special Marriage Act in addition to remedies available under the Special Marriage Act,” it said.

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