A Muslim man is bound to maintain his divorced wife and minor children till she gets remarried, the Delhi High Court has said in a recent judgment.
The court said that irrespective of Muslim personal laws, under which the husband is bound to maintain his wife only during the Iddat period (three months after divorce), the wife is entitled for maintenance under Criminal Procedure Code till she remarries.
“It is clear that even a Muslim divorced woman would be entitled to claim maintenance from a Muslim husband till she has not married [again],” said Justice S.N. Dhingra. The court said that the husband owes responsibility to also maintain the minor children living with her.
The court passed the order while dismissing a plea filed by a man challenging a lower court’s order to provide Rs. 2,000 a month to his minor daughter living with her mother.
Brushing aside the man’s contention that the right to provide maintenance to minor children ends after two years of divorce, as provided in personal law, the court said the right to sustenance cannot be restricted unless the divorcee gets remarried.
“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,” Dhingra said.