Divorced Muslim women eligible for maintenance till remarriage
According to a judgment passed by the Delhi High Court, a Muslim man must provide maintenance for his divorced wife and minor children till she gets remarried. This law has been enforced to protect Muslim women.
The Delhi high court on Thursday passed a judgment that said a Muslim man is bound to maintain his divorced wife and minor children till she gets remarried, the Delhi high court has said. The court said that irrespective of Muslim personal laws, under which the husband is bound to maintain his wife only during Iddat period which is around three months after divorce, the wife is entitled for maintenance under Criminal Procedure Code till she remarries.
"It is crystal clear that even a Muslim divorced woman would be entitled to claim maintenance from a Muslim husband till she has not married (again). This being a beneficial piece of legislation (CrPC), the benefit must accrue to the divorced Muslim women," the court said.
"Petition under Section 125 CrPC (pertaining to award of maintenance) would be maintainable (for the wife) before Family courts so long as she does not remarry and the amount of maintenance to be awarded under the Act cannot be restricted for Iddat period only," the court said while referring to a Supreme Court judgment.
It further said that the husband owes responsibility to maintain not only his ex-wife but also the minor children living with her. The court passed the order while dismissing a petition filed by a man challenging a lower court's award of maintenance of Rs2,000 per month to his minor daughter living separately with her mother.
Brushing aside the man's contention that the right to get maintenance for the minor children ceases after two years of divorce as provided in personal law, the court said that the sustenance right cannot be restricted unless the divorcee gets remarried.
"I consider that this contention is baseless. Even a wife who has been divorced under Muslim Law is entitled to claim maintenance under the Criminal procedure code after the Iddat period.I consider that the benefit cannot be denied to a minor daughter because of any restrictive provision contained in Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986," Justice Dhingra said.