The Allahabad High Court today observed that a Muslim woman is entitled to claim maintenance from her husband under Section 125 Cr.P.C. to succor her needs.
Observing thus, the Bench of Justice Brij Raj Singh further noted that where the wife states that she has great hardships in maintaining herself and her daughters, while her husband's economic condition is quite good, the wife would be entitled to maintenance.
The case in brief
Revisionist no. 1 (Arshiya Rizvi) along with her daughter (Revisionist no. 2) moved to the Court in revision seeking to quash the judgment and order passed by the Principal Judge/A.D.J., Family Court, Lucknow wherein Section 125 CrPC Application moved by the Revisionist no. 1 seeking maintenance from opposite party no. 2 (her husband) was rejected.
She presented before the Court that she had faced mental and physical torture at the hands of her in-laws and had to leave her matrimonial home along with her daughter.
It was further argued before the Court that the cruelty done by her in-laws had not been considered and the court below had passed the order (rejecting her Section 125 CrPC plea) on the presumption that the revisionist had deserted the husband, therefore, she is not entitled to maintenance.
On the other hand, the counsel for the Husband (opposite party no. 2) argued that as per Muslim Personal Law, the revisionist no.1 is a divorced Muslim wife, and therefore, she has to pursue the maintenance case before the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act and not under Section 125 CrPC.
The Court's observations
At the outset, the Court observed that as per Supreme Court's rulings in the cases of Danial Latifi and another Vs. Union of India, Iqbal Bano Vs. State of U.P. and others, (2007) 6 SCC 785 and Shayara Bano Vs. Union of India and others (2017) 9 SCC 1, a Muslim woman can very well claim maintenance under Section 125 CrPC and even a divorced woman can claim maintenance.
Regarding the argument of the opposite party no. 2 that he had given divorce to revisionist no. 1, the Court referred to Shayara Bano's case, wherein the Apex court had held that if the divorce is declared in one go and the Fatava is issued, the same cannot be legal divorce and it has no legal force.
Therefore, the Court opined that the divorce given by opposite party no.2 was not in accordance with the Quoran therefore, the divorce given by the opposite party no.2 was not in accordance with the law.
The Court also noted that it was surprising that the Court below overlooked the fact that specific averment of dowry demand, as well as cruelty, had been made by revisionist no.1 in her statement as well as in her application and that she had deposed the fact before the court below that she was harassed and forced to leave the house of her husband.
Against this backdrop, the Court, after noting that the husband had admitted on record that his salary is Rs.47,000/-, ordered that revisionist no.1 shall be entitled for Rs.7,000/- per month as maintenance.
The Court also opined that under Section 397 Cr.P.C., the court has ample power to correct the order and take appropriate steps under the revisional jurisdiction; thus, the Court set aside the lower court's order and allowed the revision plea of the revisionist no. 1.
Advocates Nadeem Murtaza, Mohd. Mohsin and Anjani K. Mishra appeared for the revisionist
Case title - Arshiya Rizvi And Anr. v. State Of U.P. And Anr. [CRIMINAL REVISION No. - 763 of 2018]
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 241