Divorced Muslim women allowed to claim maintenance under Section 125 CrPC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday passed a judgement that a divorced Muslim woman can file a claim for maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) against her former husband.

The order comes after Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by a Muslim man, Mohd Abdul Samad, against the direction to pay interim maintenance to his divorced wife under Section 125 CrPC. A bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Justice Augustine George Masih pronounced separate but concurrent judgments. The judgements pertained to uphold the Muslim woman’s right after the petitioner challenged a Telangana High Court direction to pay ₹10,000 interim maintenance to his former wife.

“We are hereby dismissing the criminal appeal with the major conclusion that Section 125 CrPC would be applicable to all woman and not just married woman,” Justice Nagarathna said while pronouncing the verdict.

While the court also added that if during the pendency of application under Section 125 CrPC, the Muslim woman gets divorced, then she is allowed to take a recourse to Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019. This act provides a remedy additionally to the remedy under Section 125 CrPC, the Court further observed.

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