Divorced Muslim woman can seek maintenance from husband: SC

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice BV Nagarathna observed that a divorced Muslim woman is not restricted from exercising her independent right of maintenance under the secular provision of section 125 of CrPC.
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The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, July 10, ruled that a divorced Muslim woman is eligible to maintain a petition under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) seeking maintenance from her estranged husband. The section deals with the maintenance of wives, children and parents.

A bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih was hearing a special leave petition filed by a husband questioning the grant of interim maintenance of Rs 10,000 per month to his wife. Dismissing the petition, the bench observed that a divorced Muslim woman is not restricted from exercising her independent right of maintenance under the secular provision of section 125.

The plea contended that given the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, a divorced Muslim woman is not entitled to maintain a 125 CrPC petition and has to proceed under the provisions of the 1986 Act. It added that the 1986 Act was more beneficial to a Muslim woman as compared to Section 125 of the CrPC.

The husband pleaded that the lower courts did not consider the fact that the divorce certificate was issued in September 2017 in accordance with the personal laws, and he was not obliged to pay maintenance on account of the divorce.

However, Justice Nagarathna pointed out that the rights of Muslim women under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986 were in addition to that under CrPC section 125.

(With IANS inputs)

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