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‘Alimony, not charity, but right of women’, says SC

By The Assam Tribune
‘Alimony, not charity, but right of women’, says SC
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Photo: PTI

Guwahati, July 10: The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a divorced Muslim woman can seek alimony from her husband under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which addresses maintenance for wives.

Justices BV Nagarathna and Justice Augustine George Masih, while dismissing a plea filed by a Muslim man against the direction to pay interim maintenance to his divorced wife under Section 125 CrPC delivered separate but concurrent judgments.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, will not prevail over secular law, the two Supreme Court judges said. “We are hereby dismissing the criminal appeal with the major conclusion that Section 125 CrPC would be applicable to all women and not just married women,” Justice Nagarathna was quoted as saying.

The petitioner argued against Section 125 CrPC’s application post-divorce under Muslim personal law, citing the 1986 Act’s provisions as more favourable to Muslim women. The Court, however, stressed the universal application of Section 125 CrPC, complemented by the 2019 Act providing additional remedies.

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

Alimony or maintenance, the court said, is not charity, but the right of married women.

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