'Can't Be Denied Maintenance': Bombay HC On Alimony For Muslim Women

Bombay High Court, the court observed that a Muslim woman is entitled to maintenance after divorce under a domestic violence case.

Avishka Tandon
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Bombay High Court

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Alimony after divorce is a most conflicting topic. The law suggests the husband is supposed to pay maintenance to his wife and children post-separation. Recently, the Bombay High Court made an interesting observation regarding alimony while hearing a divorce case of a Muslim woman.

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court led the hearing of a woman who had divorced her husband quite some time back and wanted to enhance the alimony that he paid for her and the children's maintenance. The husband denied to pay the alimony and filed a revision petition in the court. Justice GA Sanap on the bench dismissed his application citing the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 for alimony to Muslim women after divorce.

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Bombay HC On Alimony For Muslim Women

The case was about a woman who accompanied her husband to Saudi Arabia in the year 2006. While she was in another country, her family and her in-laws, who lived in the same building, had some disputes among them. Because of the dispute between the families, she alleged that her husband started treating her badly. In 2012, she returned to Indian along with her children and husband.


In India, he forced her to lodge a complaint against her family over the dispute they had with her in-laws. She was physically assaulted for not filing the case. She left his home and went to her parent's house with her younger son. Meanwhile, her husband went back to Saudi Arabia without providing her compensation and maintenance. After which she filed a court application for divorce and alimony.

The man denied domestic violence allegations and refused to give alimony, but the sessions court ordered him to pay Rs. 50,000 compensation and Rs. 2000 rent, Rs. 7500 to the wife, and Rs. 2500 to the child as monthly maintenance costs. However, the wife filed a petition to increase the maintenance to Rs. 16,000 monthly.

The man opposed the petition claiming that the domestic violence application was filed post-divorce and as per Muslin Women Act sections 4 and 5, she was not entitled to alimony or maintenance. However, the court observed that Muslim women are entitled to alimony in domestic violence cases as long as they don't get married after divorce according to CrPC section 125. The woman can seek relief even after divorce to maintain the lifestyle that she was used to during married life.

The court observed that the domestic violence allegations were confirmed by the sessions court and the man has also tried to mention false income in the application as he was working as a chemical engineer in Saudi Arabia since 2005 and earned about Rs. 3.5 lakhs per month. 

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