Breakthrough cases of Maintenance under Muslim Laws

Under Muslim Law the term ‘Maintenance’ is called as “NAFAQA”. Maintenance should be included in food, clothing, and loding. Under Muslim Women Act (Protection of Rights on Divorce) 1986 wife are enfoceable against the former husband. Under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973, a wife who has not been living with her husband because of a second marriage of his, is entitled to receive maintenance under this section.

  1. Shah Bano Begum v Mohammad Ahmed Khan

In this case, Shah Bano Begum filed a suit under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973  claiming maintenance from her  Muslim  husband. The husband contended that since Shah Bano Begum is no longer his wife, he is therefore not entitled to pay. The Judicial Magistrate proceeded with an order to the husband to give maintenance of Rs.25 per month to his wife as per Section 125 of CrPc. After this, Shah Bano filed a review application opposing the order of the Indore HC and sought an increment of the maintenance amount of Rs. 179.20/month. The defendant pleaded to the Supreme Court and the SC denied the plea and stated that Muslim women can get maintenance even after Iddat period if in case she is unable to maintain herself. After the Shah Banu case judgement has been create a current legislature to command Muslim Divorces i.e. Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986.

  1. Begum Subaru alias Saira Bnnu v. A.M Abdool Gafoor

In this case, the Supreme Curt made it clear that irrespective of the fact that Muslim husband has the right to contract a second marriage, his first wife would still be entitled to claim maintenance for herself. Which implies that if a Muslim husband refuses to provide maintenance to her wife without giving any lawful justification, the wife can file a suit in the civil court claiming maintenance under Muslim law. Also, she can enforce her right of maintenance under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Thereafter, a magistrate of the first class shall order the Muslim husband to provide monthly allowance for the maintenance of his wfe.

  1. Danial Latifi and others v. Union of India

In this case, the court mentioned that a divorced Muslim woman who has not remarried and who is not able to maintain herself after Iddat period, can proceed as provided under section 4 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986  against her relatives who are liable to maintain her. If any of the relatives refuse to pay maintenance, the Magistrate may direct the State Wakf Board established under the Act to pay such maintenance. The court further stated that the provisions of the Act do not offend Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

  1. A.Yousuf v. Sowramma

In this case, the court held that if the husband fails to maintain his wife for a period of two years, the wife is entitled to decree for the dissolution of marriage, even though the Muslim wife may have contributed towards the failure of the maintenance by her husband.

  1. Shamim Ara v. State of U.P.

In this case, the appellant filed for maintenance for herself and her two out of four children on the grounds that her husband deserted her and treated her poorly. Therefore, the court held that the husband was liable to pay maintenance for her two sons who were born from that marriage while the wife would have custody of the children.

  1. Chand Patel v. Bismillah Begum 

In this case, Chand Begum filed an application for maintenance for herself and her minor daughter on the grounds that her husband married her sister and neglected her after that marriage. The Supreme court held that marriage of a man with two sisters is not void but is irregular in nature. It was also stated that the child born from this marriage is entitled to her inheritance from her father and the father shall provide maintenance to both the mother and the daughter. 

Aishwarya Says:

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