Supreme Court’s Judgement on Sec 125 of CrPC

  • 11 Jul 2024

On July 10th, 2024, Supreme Court said that, under Sec 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure a Muslim woman is entitled to maintenance from her husband.

Key Points

  • The bench comprising Justices BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih dismissed a petition in the case, in which the man filed a plea against the direction to pay interim maintenance to his divorced wife under Section 125 CrPC.
  • The bench said maintenance is not charity but the right of married women and it is applicable to all married women irrespective of their religion.
  • This right is in addition to the remedy provided under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019, which specifies that a woman, who has been subjected to triple talaq, will be entitled to claim subsistence allowance from her husband.
  • If Muslim women are married and divorced under Muslim law then Section 125 of the CrPC as well as the provisions of the 1986 Act are applicable. Option lies with the Muslim divorced women to seek remedy under either of the two laws or both laws. This is because the 1986 Act is not in derogation of Section 125 of the CrPC but in addition to the said provision.
  • The Court held that the provisions of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986 do not override the secular law.

Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019

  • The Act came into force with retrospective effect from the 19th September, 2018 giving continued effect to the first Ordinance promulgated on 19th September, 2018.
  • It is an Act to protect the rights of married Muslim women and to prohibit divorce by pronouncing talaq by their husbands and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • The Act declares the instant divorce granted by pronouncement of talaq three times as void and illegal. It provides for imprisonment for a term up to 3 years and fine to the husband who practiced instant Triple Talaq.
  • Muslim woman, upon whom Talaq was pronounced also granted custody of children and subsistence allowance to be paid by the husband.