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The Supreme Court to consider whether Muslim women are entitled to seek maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC or not.

The honorable has decided to examine whether a divorced Muslim woman can seek maintenance from her husband under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

A bench comprising of Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Augustine George Masih have appointed senior advocate Gaurav Agrawal as an Amicus Curiae in the case where a Muslim man (petitioner) has challenged the direction by Telangana High Court to pay ₹10,000 interim maintenance to his former wife.

The Supreme Court, in the Shah Bano case, held that Section 125 of the CrPC, which provides for maintenance, is a secular provision and applies equally to Muslim women. However, the said decision was overturned by the enactment of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, whose constitutional validity was upheld in 2001 in the case of Danial Latifi & Anr v. Union of India.

The grievance raised in the said petition before the honorable court is over the filing of a claim under section 125 of CrPC by the respondent, a Muslim woman is the ex-wife of the petitioner. The matter arose from an order passed by the family court in which they had directed the petitioner to pay interim maintenance of ₹20,000 per month. The same was challenged before the High Court on the grounds that the couple got separated in 2017 in consonance with Muslim Personal Law. The High Court adjusted the maintenance to ₹10,000 per month and instructed the Family Court to resolve the matter within six months.

The Ld. Counsel representing the petitioner submitted that according to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, a divorced Muslim woman cannot seek advantages under Section 125 CrPC and that the 1986 Act is more beneficial in comparison to Section 125 of the CrPC to a Muslim woman.

CASE NAME: Mohd Abdul Samad Vs the State of Telangana & Anr.

Name: Riddhi Gupta, Course: BALLB, College: Vivekananda Institute Of Professional Studies, Intern Under Legal Vidhiya.

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