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Muslim Women's Right to Maintenance

Option to be governed by code of criminal procedure

If a divorced woman and her former husband declare, by affidavit or any other declaration in writing, either jointly or separately, that they would prefer to be governed by the provisions of Sections 125 to 128 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and file such affidavit or declaration in the Court hearing the application, the Magistrate shall dispose of such application accordingly.

Comparative chart - broad outline

PMuslim Women(Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986 Section 125 Code of Criminal Procedure
PJurisdiction Application is filed in the area where divorced woman resides Application where the husband is, or resides or where he last resided with his wife
PRelief available Reasonable and fair provision and maintenance, or the amount of mahr or dower paid, all properties given at the time of marriage or after marriage. If unable to maintain herself, after Iddat period relatives ordered to pay maintenance and if no relatives exist then Warf board pays. Allowed a monthly allowance, not exceeding Rs.500. No provision for maintenance by children, relatives or Wakf Board after Iddat period.
Punishment on failure to pay Imprisonment which may extend to one year. Imprisonment which may extend to one month.
Applies to Only to divorced woman To every married or divorced woman.
Alteration /allowance No such Provision. On change of circumstances Alteration maybe made.
PMaintenance after Iddat Woman to be maintained by her children or parents or relatives or the Warf board. No such provision.

A divorced woman means a Muslim woman who was married according to Muslim law, and has been divorced by, or obtained divorce from her husband in accordance with Muslim law. -

Iddat period means in the case of a divorced woman -

  1. three menstrual courses after the date of divorce, if she is subject to menstruation; and
  2. three lunar months after her divorce, if she is not subject to menstruation; and
  3. if she is pregnant at the time of her divorce, the period between the divorce and delivery of her child or the termination of her pregnancy whichever is earlier.

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