Interpretation of Muslim Women’s Divorce Act 1986

For activists/lawyers interested in post-divorce maintenance for women.

This is a remarkable judgment ruling divorced Muslim women to be paid maintenance beyond iddat, in India. It is also remarkable for its skill in interpretation and application.

Case of Danial Latifi at http://indiankanoon.org/doc/410660/

Excerpt from Judgment

While upholding the validity of the Act, we may sum up our conclusions:

1. a Muslim husband is liable to make reasonable and fair provision for the future of the divorced wife which obviously includes her maintenance as well. Such a reasonable and fair provision extending beyond the iddat period must be made by the husband within the iddat period in terms of Section 3(1)(a) of the Act.

2. Liability of Muslim husband to his divorced wife arising under Section 3(1)(a) of the Act to pay maintenance is not confined to iddat period.

3. A divorced Muslim woman who has not remarried and who is not able to maintain herself after iddat period can proceed as provided under Section 4 of the Act against her relatives who are liable to maintain her in proportion to the properties which they inherit on her death according to Muslim law from such divorced woman including her children and parents. If any of the relatives being unable to pay maintenance, the Magistrate may direct the State Wakf Board established under the Act to pay such maintenance.

4. The provisions of the Act do not offend Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

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One comment

  1. […] Interpretation of Muslim Women’s Divorce Act 1986 (wrcaselaw.wordpress.com) […]

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