Karnataka HC: Duty of Man to Maintain unmarried Ex-wife after Mehr is provided

Alka Verma

Published On: October 20, 2021 at 11:00 IST

The Karnataka High Court observed that it is the duty of a man belonging to the Muslim community to provide maintenance to his unmarried ex-wife’s beyond the iddat period, even after paying Mehr.

The High Court stated that if the ex-wife is still unmarried and is unable to maintain herself, the ex-husband has to pay for her expenses.

The Court cleared the point that it is the Right of an un-remarried ex-wife to receive maintenance but it should be kept in mind that requirements must be life essentials and not luxuries. 

“The approach of Courts should be consistent with the progression of law achieved precedent by precedent through judicial activism; any adjudication of maintenance disputes without reference to this progression of law runs the risk of being tainted as an unfair treatment of the subject matter,” stated the Court.

The Court made these observations while hearing an application filed by ex-husband under Civil Procedure Code for determining his financial incapacity.

In 2002, the ex-wife filed a Civil Suit seeking maintenance from the ex-husband but he denied stating that he has entered into another marriage and has begotten a child too.

Eight years after this, the Family Court directed the ex-husband to pay a sum of Rs 3,000 monthly till her death or till she gets remarried or till the death of the ex-husband.

Later, when the ex-wife wanted to increase the paid amount, the ex-husband filed an application under Civil Procedure Code for determining his financial incapacity which was rejected by a Trial Court and then he moved to the High Court.

“This is yet another case of a hapless Muslim divorced wife battling for two decades for executing a maintenance decree,” stated the Court in its judgment.

Lastly, the Court dismissed the Plea of the ex-husband and moreover directed him to pay a sum of Rs 25,000.

Also Read: Landmark Judgements on Maintenance of Wife

Analysis on “Maintenance of Dependents”

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