Indian law on matters pertaining to marriage, divorce and succession are governed by personal laws. In Muslim matrimonial mattesr, the laws on a Muslim woman's right to maintenance are clearly laid down. In August 2010, the Delhi High Court ruled that a Muslim man is liable to pay maintenance, to his ex-wife and minor children, until she remarries. Further, the court held that a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to maintenance under the Criminal Procedure Code. The court further said that this is applicable regardless of the provisions of the Muslim law. Muslim law also provides that a person is liable to pay maintenance to his divorced wife, only for the Iddat period (nearly 3 months after dissolution of the marriage).
The Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, was enacted with an objective, namely to protect the rights of divorced Muslim women. The Act, entitles a divorced Muslim woman, to claim maintenance from her ex-husband. Further, it provides that the husband is obliged to provide maintenance within the period of iddat (waiting period imposed upon a Muslim woman, after dissolution of her marriage). However, the obligation is not restricted to the period of iddat. Also, the Act provides that in case her husband fails to provide maintenance, she can approach the Wakf Board for the same.
Muslim women are entitled to maintenance under Muslim personal law as well as the Protection of Rights on Divorce Act, 1986. To a layperson, what does ‘maintenance’ really mean? Simply put, when a couple divorce, the husband is legally bound to provide for the expenses of the wife and children, which is called as ‘maintenance.’ It must, however, be noted that a Muslim wife is only entitled to maintenance so long as she is faithful to her husband and obeys his ‘reasonable’ orders. Moreover, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939 enables a Muslim wife to seek dissolution of marriage on the ground of failure to provide maintenance.
The long legal battle between Shoaib Malik and Ayesha came to a quick, unexpected closure on 7th April 2010, when hectic negotiations bore fruit and Shoaib Malik signed the divorce papers.
On 5th April, more drama unfolded in the Shoaib-Sania marriage controversy as India’s tennis star, Sania asserted that their marriage would be solemnized on the announced date, namely, 15 April 2010. The Pakistani cricketer, Shoaib Malik has been featuring in the news ever since his marriage with Indian tennis star, Sania Mirza was announced. The FIR against Shoaib Malik charges him with cruelty to wife, harassment, criminal intimidiation and cheating. Reports from the Pakistani foreign office indicate that the Pakistani High Commission is awaiting the details of the FIR that has been lodged against Shoaib Malik.
Little is known about the early life of Prophet Mohammad, though much has been written and misinterpreted about the Prophet's life and message. Stories of miracles did not feature in the actions or life of the Prophet, compared to other religious icons. Muslims revere Mohammad as a perfect man whose life and message depicted total surrender to the will of God. Through the life and teachings of the Prophet, Muslims have learned to foster a powerful bond of solidarity and brotherhood in their devotion to the Holy Qu'ran.
Question on Hindu Law and Special Marriage Act
In many parts of South India, the practice of a girl being married off to her maternal uncle is part of the community's custom. Suppose this type of marriage happens under Special Marriage Act and one party converts to Buddhism, what is the status of the marriage? Is it valid?
The Special Marriage Act, 1954 provides legal recognition to inter-faith marriages in India. However, a problem arises in determining rightful ownership of such couples’ properties in case of succession.
The subject of inheritance is dealt exclusively by the personal and family laws of the different religions in India. This poses a dilemma of determining which law of succession to consider for a child born out of a marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act.
Triple divorce is a highly sensitive issue among the Muslims. Under this Islamic law, a husband is entitled to obtain a divorce and renounce his obligations towards his wife by pronouncing the word ‘talaq’ thrice. This practice has been abused on several occasions, awakening legislatures across the world to reform it. In fact, the practice of triple divorce is banned under the law in several nations, including Algeria, Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey.
Islamic laws for women have always been interpreted broadly by the courts in India. In 1986, a ruling by Supreme Court caused tremendous debate in India’s political circles. In Shah Bano’s case [1985 AIR 945, 1985 SCC (2) 556], alimony was granted to an elderly woman who was divorced by her Muslim husband.