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`Maintain Muslim divorced wife till remarriage`

A Muslim man is bound to maintain his divorced wife and minor children till she gets remarried, the Delhi High Court has said.



New Delhi: A Muslim man is bound to
maintain his divorced wife and minor children till she gets
remarried, the Delhi High Court has said.

The Court said that irrespective of Muslim personal
laws, under which the husband is bound to maintain his wife
only during Iddat period which is around three months after
divorce, the wife is entitled for maintenance under Criminal
Procedure Code till she remarries.
"It is crystal clear that even a Muslim divorced woman
would be entitled to claim maintenance from a Muslim husband
till she has not married (again). This being a beneficial
piece of legislation(CrPC), the benefit must accrue to the
divorced Muslim women," the court said.

"Petition under Section 125 CrPC (pertaining to award
of maintenance) would be maintainable (for the wife) before
Family Courts so long as she does not remarry and the amount
of maintenance to be awarded under the Act cannot be
restricted for Iddat period only," the court said while
referring to a Supreme Court judgement.

It further said that the husband owes responsibility
to maintain not only his ex-wife but also the minor children
living with her.

The court passed the order while dismissing a petition
filed by a man challenging a lower court`s award of
maintenance of Rs 2,000 per month to his minor daughter living
separately with her mother.

Brushing aside the man`s contention that the right to
get maintenance for the minor children ceases after two years
of divorce as provided in personal law, the court said that
the sustenance right cannot be restricted unless the divorcee
gets remarried.
"I consider that this contention is baseless. Even a
wife who has been divorced under Muslim Law is entitled to
claim maintenance under the Criminal procedure code after the
Iddat period.

"I consider that the benefit cannot be denied to a
minor daughter because of any restrictive provision contained
in Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986,"
Justice Dhingra said.

PTI

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