Divorced Muslim Woman Can Seek Maintenance u/s 125 CrPC, holds Supreme Court

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Court has further held that if during the pendency of an application under Section 125 CrPC, the Muslim woman gets divorced, she can take recourse under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019

In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court of India has held today that a divorced Muslim woman can seek maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. 

A division bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and AG Masih pronounced two separate but concurring judgments today in court.

While reserving its order, the top court had noted that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 does not preclude a divorced Muslim woman from filing a petition under Section 125 CrPC seeking maintenance from her former husband.

The matter emanated from a special leave petition filed by Mohd Abdul Samad against a Telangana High Court's order of December 13, 2023.

Petitioner's counsel senior advocate S Wasim A Qadri had submitted that in view of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, a divorced Muslim woman is not entitled to maintain a petition under Section 125 of the CrPC.

He said the plea has to proceed under the provisions of the 1986 Act, which is more beneficial to Muslim women as compared to Section 125 of the CrPC.

"We find that this court would be benefited by having the views of an Amicus Curiae, being appointed in the matter," the bench had said.

The man filed an application under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code before the High Court against the Hyderabad Family Court's order to pay Rs 20,000 maintenance to the wife.

In the case, the divorce certificate was issued on September 28, 2017 in accordance with the personal laws.

"Keeping in view that there are several questions of facts and law regarding the maintenance to be granted in the background of the claim of the husband regarding divorce, this Court deems it appropriate to direct the petitioner/husband to pay an amount of Rs10,000 per month towards interim maintenance from the date of petition and 50% of the arrears of maintenance shall be paid on or before 24.01.2024," the high court had said.

Further, the remaining 50% of the arrears shall be paid by March 13, 2024, it had said. The high court had asked the Family Court to decide the main matter within six months.

Case Title: Mohd Abdul Samad vs. The State of Telangana & Anr