Critical Analysis of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986
However the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act is intended to protect interest of Muslim divorce woman but consist of come political flaws or issues which are as follows:-
Shah Bano Case
- Section 125 of CrPC – It states that if his divorced wife and legitimate or illegitimate minor child who are not in position to maintain themselves then he has to pay such monthly allowance (initially fixed at max of Rs 500, amended in 2001) as may be decided by Magistrate for maintenance of wife or children.
- Section 127 (3) (b) of CrPC – It states that if any woman seeks benefit or relief from any other customary or personal law then she is not entitled to benefits under section 125 of the CrPC.
- SC Judgement – The SC in Mohd Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano case (1985) held that if a Muslim divorced woman is unable to maintain herself after expiry of Iddat period then she will be entitled to benefits such monthly allowance etc. under section 125 of CrPC irrespective of their religion.
- To dilute such judgement which led to controversy, Govt of India is enacted the special divorce entitlement act for Muslim Women. The act has been challenged in the SC but defended by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AMPLB).
- The Act is in violation of the Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution which ensures equality before law and no discrimination on basis of sex, religion, caste or creed. But this act is violating the principle of equality before law on ground of religion.
- The Shariat Laws or Muslim laws are highly criticized by propagandists of human rights in all around the world especially for restriction imposed against Muslim woman. The Shariat says that accepting or offering maintenance beyond Iddat period is Haraam (illegitimate) as all relationship b/w man and woman cease after end of Iddat period.
- Awareness among Muslim women is the big problem in implementation of this act.
- The status quo behaviour of society of Islam religion with old myths (Polygamy or Triple Talaq) is a big hurdle in way of rights of woman or successful implementation of this act.
- The clause to maintain till Iddat period shall be replaced by ‘maintain his divorced wife till remarriage or till she become self reliant’.
However recent judgements of HC and SC surpasses the limits of this act and held that right to maintenance is must and can’t be restricted on basis of religion or personal laws but it is still confusing.