All religions are equal under law and right to maintenance has to be provided by a man to his wife, parents and children: Supreme Court

Previously on 6th April 2015 Supreme Court had allowed a plea by a divorced Muslim lady to get enhanced amount of maintenance from her ex-husband. Court confirmed in it that a divorced woman should get money to maintain herself, wherein she should be able to live a dignified life in that amount. With regard to Muslim personal law, there has been a great connotation has been given to all judicial decisions in India.

An economic newspaper in a report said that maintenance right of a woman was absolute and it also applied to all divorced Muslim ladies and that Apex Court has ruled on these matters for nearly 30 years. Under Section 125 of CrPC 1973 a man has to sustain his wife, parents and his children regardless of his religion and no one is excluded.

The major judgment that was given under Section 125 was in Mohd Ahmed Khan Vs Shah Bano Begum in 1985, which worried the Congress Government, wherein court ruled that a divorced Muslim wife has to be maintained under the above said section. In the year 1986 the Rajiv Gandhi Government has passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act and thus indemnified a Muslim man to pay maintenance under Section 125 to his divorced wife. The law explains that if a Muslim woman who is divorced cannot maintain herself then she must get maintenance from her relatives who get the parent’s property in inheritance and if they also cannot maintain her then it should be done by State Wakf Board.

In Danial Latifi vs Union of India (2001 (7) SCC 740) constitutional validity of the provisions of the 1986 Act was decided. Court also held that the Section 125 provisions cannot be removed as a Muslim woman who is divorced cannot run searching for her relatives to maintain her to live a dignified life. Supreme Court  in Noor Saba Khatoon vs Mohd Quasim [1997 (6) SCC 233] which was previously decided to Danial Latifi’s matter. Court held in its ruling that Muslim man has to maintain his children even if they lived with his divorced wife under Section 125.

by Sushma Javare.