Divorced Muslim Women Have The Right To Claim Miantenance: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that divorced Muslim women in India have the right to claim maintenance under Section 125.

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that divorced Muslim women in India have the right to claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). This law applies to all married women, regardless of their religion.

The ruling came after a Muslim man from Telangana challenged a High Court order requiring him to pay Rs 10,000 in interim maintenance to his ex-wife. Justices BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih delivered the judgment, confirming that Section 125 CrPC applies to all women.

The court stated that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, does not override the secular law of Section 125 CrPC. Justice Nagarathna said, “We are dismissing the criminal appeal, concluding that Section 125 CrPC is applicable to all women, not just married women.”

The Supreme Court dismissed the petition of Mohammed Abdul Samad, who had contested a Telangana High Court order upholding the family court’s maintenance order. Samad argued that a divorced Muslim woman should seek maintenance under the 1986 Act, not Section 125 CrPC.

The judges clarified that if a Muslim woman is divorced while applying under Section 125 CrPC, she can also seek remedies under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019. Despite the 1986 Act initially limiting these claims, the court reaffirmed that Section 125 CrPC applies to divorced Muslim women.

This decision follows the Shah Bano case, where the Court recognized Section 125 CrPC as a secular provision applicable to Muslim women. Although the 1986 Act restricted these rights, the Supreme Court upheld the universal application of Section 125 CrPC, alongside the 2019 Act providing additional support.

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