Chhattisgarh HC: Muslim Women Can Claim Maintenance under CrPC

BILASPUR, 29 May-2014: Chhattisgarh high court has ruled that even though Muslim Women Act 1986 has a provision for claiming maintenance, yet an application filed under Section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) — that deals with order for maintenance — cannot be rejected holding it not sustainable.

Chhattisgarh HC: Muslim Women Can Claim Maintenance under CrPC

Chhattisgarh HC: Muslim Women Can Claim Maintenance under CrPC
Setting aside an order passed by principal judge of a family court at Raipur, who rejected an application filed by a Muslim woman seeking maintenance under CrPC, single bench of Justice P Sam Koshy disposed the petition and remitted the case back to family court.
Issue cropped up after Abdul Javed Khan gave a ‘Talaq-ul-bain’ (divorce) to the petitioner woman, who had approached family court seeking maintenance under section 125 of CrPC, but family court rejected her plea on the ground that proceedings under CrPC was maintainable on account of provisions of The Muslim Women (Protection and Divorce) Act 1986. Accordingly, the application was rejected at the initial stages itself without entering into the merits of the case.
Petitioner’s counsel Pankaj Agrawal quoted Supreme Court orders to argue that proceedings under section 125 of CrPC, initiated by divorced Muslim woman, would be maintainable and prayed for setting aside the order of the family court.
In his order, Justice Koshy observed that apex court had categorically held that divorced woman would be entitled for claiming maintenance from her divorced husband as long as she does not remarry and it has also been held that proceedings under section 125 CrPC would be maintainable. The order pointed out that judgments have emphasized that proceedings under section 125 of CrPC always have to be treated as a piece of beneficial legislation.
High court noted that the benefit so acquired under statutory provisions should not be denied to anyone on hyper-technicalities, particularly when other law also provides for grant of maintenance.
Raghevendra Pradhan, counsel for non-applicant, had contended that after enactment of Act of 1986, there is a specific condition for obtaining maintenance for a divorced Muslim woman and CrPC provisions would not be applicable as the Muslim Women (Protection and Divorce) Act 1986 has an overriding effect.