Muslim women can ask for alimony from their husbands after divorce, Supreme Court’s big decision

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has given an important decision regarding Muslim women. The decision of the Supreme Court has brought great relief to those Muslim women who have been divorced or are forced to live separately from their husbands. The court ruled today (10 July) that Muslim women can file a petition for maintenance against their husbands under Section 125 of the CrPC.

Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Augustine George Masih gave separate but similar verdicts. The country’s largest court said in its decision that some husbands are not aware of the fact that the wife, who is a housewife, but the identity of these home makers is dependent on them emotionally and in other ways.

What did the court say in the decision
The court said, “An Indian married woman should be aware of the fact that she is not financially independent. Empowerment by such an order means that she has access to resources. We have also added the aspect of ‘illegal divorce’ under the 2019 Act in our decision. We have come to the main conclusion that Section 125 of CrPC will apply to all women (including live-in partners) and not just married women. The court also said that if the case under Section 125 CrPC is pending and a Muslim woman gets divorced, she can resort to the 2019 Act. The 2019 Act provides additional remedies to Section 125 CrPC.

Muslim man’s petition rejected
The double bench of the Supreme Court rejected the petition of a Muslim man, challenging the interim maintenance order in favor of his divorced wife under Section 125 of the CrPC. The court made it clear that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, will not repeal the provisions of Section 125 CrPC.
A Muslim woman Aga had filed a petition under Section 125 of the CrPC and demanded alimony from her husband. The petitioner had pleaded in the court to direct her husband to pay interim alimony of Rs 20,000 every month.
This order of the Family Court was challenged in the Telangana High Court. Where it was said that the parties had divorced in the year 2017 according to Muslim Personal Law. Earlier in 2013, the order of the Family Court was reinstated in which a divorced Muslim woman was considered entitled to maintain a petition under Section 125 of CrPC for maintenance.

It is worth noting that since the Shahbano case of 1985, the Supreme Court has been continuously saying in its decisions that divorced Muslim women are entitled to maintenance. The Shahbano decision was overturned by the government, after which the Supreme Court clarified the aspect of maintenance of Muslim women in the triple talaq decision. Along with this, orders were given regarding convenience on many other issues and since then cases have been reaching the Supreme Court.

2024-07-10

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