Alimony is a Muslim woman’s right not charity: SC

New Delhi, July 10 (UNI) Holding that maintenance is not a matter of charity but a fundamental right, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Muslim women can seek maintenance from their husbands under Section 125 of the erstwhile Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which applies to all married women irrespective of their religion.

A Bench comprising Justice B.V. Nagarathna and Justice Augustine George Masih pronounced their judgment that would apply to all women and not just married women.

Both judges, who pronounced separate judgments but concurrent verdicts, said Section 125 of the erstwhile CrPC, which deals with a wife’s legal right to maintenance, covers Muslim women and also those women who may not be married but are dependent on relatives for survival.

The bench dismissed the criminal appeal filed by Mohd Abdul Samad, who said that under the Muslim law women were not entitled to maintenance.

Abdul Samad had challenged the order of the Telangana High Court refusing to interfere with the maintenance order of the family court in favour of his divorced wife.

He contended that a divorced Muslim woman is not entitled to maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC and has to invoke the provisions of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.

The Supreme Court said that section 125 would apply to all women, Justice Nagarathna said while pronouncing the verdict.

The bench said maintenance is not charity but the right of married women and it applies to all married women irrespective of their religion.

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