Supreme Court alimony ruling sparks joy among Muslim women

Supreme Court alimony ruling sparks joy among Muslim women

Udham Singh Nagar/New Delhi, July 10. The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a divorced Muslim woman can claim maintenance from her husband under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code – the Wife Maintenance Act.

Following the landmark verdict by the country’s highest court, triple talaq advocate Shayara Bano expressed her satisfaction that it will benefit divorced Muslim women. Bano is the vice-chairperson of the Uttarakhand State Commission for Women and has personally experienced the impact of the triple talaq rule.

In 2016, Bano approached the Supreme Court to challenge the practice, and the fight ended with a positive verdict in 2017. Subsequently, the country passed a law in 2018 that outlawed triple talaq and allowed legal action against those who pronounce it, including jail time.

In an interview with IANS, Bano stressed that the Supreme Court’s verdict is beneficial for all Muslim women. She stressed that this decision will have a positive impact on their financial stability and reduce cases of arbitrary triple talaq, which in turn will increase the social status of Muslim women.

Bano recalled how her husband abruptly divorced her through express mail without any reason. He worked as a real estate agent while she was a housewife. During her ordeal, she received support from her relatives. She courageously filed a petition against triple talaq in the Supreme Court and finally got justice. With the passage of laws banning triple talaq, Muslim women are now able to take legal action on their own.

After the implementation of the Triple Talaq Act, Bano was appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the Uttarakhand State Commission for Women, where she continues to work towards promoting women’s rights and empowerment. She is an active advocate for the rights and dignity of women who have been victims of assault.

Bano mentioned that in cases where women are oppressed, she strives to facilitate a dialogue between both parties to promote mutual understanding.

Local women have also expressed their happiness with the Supreme Court’s decision, pointing out that it is likely to lead to a reduction in triple talaq cases. Previously, it had become quite normal for men to file for divorce after extramarital affairs, trivialising the process. However, after the court’s verdict, there is optimism in the Muslim community that such cases will come down.

Another woman stressed that husbands should be required to support their wives financially after divorce, as women are responsible not only for their own expenses but also for the welfare of their children. This measure, she believes, would alleviate some of the financial burdens on women and potentially reduce divorce rates.

Importantly, the Supreme Court has clarified that the right to maintenance applies to all married women, regardless of their religious affiliation. Section 125 states that persons of sufficient means cannot evade their obligation to pay maintenance to their wives, children or parents.

The court stressed that maintenance is not an act of charity but a fundamental right of married women. It stated: “This right transcends religious boundaries and reinforces the principle of gender equality and financial security for all married women.”

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