The Allahabad High Court recently held that a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code until she remarries another man.

A criminal revision was preferred in this matter against the judgment passed by the Family Court, Ghazipur whereby the case of revisionist under Section 125 Cr.P.C. was dismissed.

A Single Bench of Justice Raj Beer Singh observed, “… it is clear that a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to claim maintenance under Section 125 CrPC even for the period after iddat and for whole life unless she is disqualified for the reasons such as marriage with some one else. Thus, in the instant case, the rejection of the application of revisionist under section 125 CrPC on the ground that, being a divorced muslim woman, she is not entitled to seek maintenance under section 125 CrPC, is against the well settled position of law and thus, the impugned order is liable to be set aside.”

The Bench referred to some landmark cases such as Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum AIR 1985 SC 945, Danial Latifi v. Union of India 2001 Law Suit(SC) 1293, Shabana Bano v. Imran Khan (2010) 1 SCC 666, etc.

Advocate Chandra Bhushan Tiwari appeared on behalf of the revisionist while Government Advocate Vinayak Varma appeared on behalf of the State.

In this case, the marriage of a revisionist took place in the year 2006 but she was harassed by her husband on account of dowry and later on, she was divorced by him. The revisionist did not remarry and filed a case under Section 125 Cr.P.C. along with her minor children for maintenance against the husband but such a claim was rejected by the Family Court.

The question for consideration before the High Court was whether a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to maintenance under section 125 CrPC.

The High Court after hearing the arguments of both parties asserted, “… the impugned order passed by the Family Court is set aside and matter is remitted back to the Court concerned to decide the claim of revisionist under section 125 CrPC and pass an order afresh in accordance with law.”

Accordingly, the Court allowed the revision application and set aside the order of the Family Court.

Cause Title- Shakila Khatun v. State of U.P. and Another

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