Maintenance to Muslim wife

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court has revisited and rejuvenated the law of maintenance relating to divorced Muslim wives. The Supreme Court was considering the propriety of the decision given by the Family Court and confirmed by the High Court where maintenance was allowed to the divorced wife only upto the period of Iddat. The Husband sought to justify the decision of these courts arguing that in terms of the ‘Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986’, the maintenance was to be restricted till the period of Iddat only. However from the side of the wife it was argued before the Supreme Court that the lower courts failed to take notice of the fact that in terms of Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure the divorced wife was entitled to maintenance till the time she remarried and that Section 125 being a specific and beneficial legislation would prevail.

Supreme Court  held that even if a Muslim woman has been divorced, she would be entitled to claim maintenance from her husband under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. after the expiry of period of iddat also, as long as she does not remarry.

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