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Supreme Court issues major ruling on alimony for divorced Muslim women

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Annesha Barua -- July 10th 2024 12:48 PM
Supreme Court issues major ruling on alimony for divorced Muslim women

Supreme Court issues major ruling on alimony for divorced Muslim women

PTC News Desk: According to Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc), a Muslim woman is entitled to maintenance from her husband, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday. Judges BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih's bench denied the man's appeal in the Shah Bano case, whereby he contested the order to provide his divorced wife with interim maintenance pursuant to Section 125 CrPC.

The bench further decided that the woman may use the 2019 Act if she gets divorced while the application is pending. In addition to the remedy under Section 125 CrPc, the 2019 Act offers another remedy. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act of 1986, according to the bench, would not take precedence over secular law.

"We are dismissing the criminal appeal with the conclusion that Section 125 CrPC would be applicable to all women and not just married women," said Justice Nagarathna.

The highest court made it clear that divorced women would also be able to request support under the law.

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The Supreme Court ruled in the Shah Bano case of 1985 that Section 125 CrPC is a secular statute that also applies to Muslim women. This ruling was a historic decision. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, however, rendered this illegal; the law's legitimacy was affirmed in 2001.

The bench stated during the hearing today that an Indian married man needs to realise that his wife, who is not financially independent, depends on him. It further stated that an Indian guy deserves recognition for his independent efforts.

What was the case?

The ruling by the Supreme Court concerns the matter of "Mohd Abdul Samad vs State of Telangana and anr," in which the husband, petitioner, objected to the filing of claims from his ex-wife, from whom he separated in 2017.

Abdul Samad was initially ordered by a family court to give his ex-wife ?20,000 a month in interim maintenance.

But he appealed this ruling to the Telangana High Court, arguing that the couple's divorce was governed by Muslim personal law. The petitioner claims that in light of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, reported Bar and Bench, a divorced Muslim lady is not entitled to receive alimony under Section 125 CrPC.

The high court then lowered the maintenance to ?10,000 each month.

The husband of the petitioner subsequently filed a case with the Supreme Court against the ruling of the high court.

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- With inputs from agencies

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