Supreme Court’s Big Order On Alimony For Divorced Muslim Women

A divorced Muslim woman can seek alimony from her husband under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Supreme Court ruled today. The big judgment came as a bench of Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Augustine George Masih dismissed a Muslim man’s petition challenging a direction to pay maintenance to his divorced wife under CrPC.

“We are hereby dismissing the criminal appeal with the major conclusion that Section 125 would be applicable to all women and not just married women,” Justice Nagarathna said. Justice Nagarathna and Justice Masih delivered separate, but concurrent, judgments.

The bench made it clear that the law for seeking maintenance applies to all married women, irrespective of their religion.

Maintenance, the court said, is not charity, but the right of married women. In strong remarks, Justice Nagarathna said, “Some husbands are not conscious of the fact that the wife, who is a homemaker, is dependent on them emotionally and in other ways. The time has come when the Indian man must recognise a homemaker’s role and sacrifice.”

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