Danial Latifi vs. Union of India, AIR 2001 SC 3958. - Synopsis
Ahir Mitra 10 Jun 2021

Danial Latifi v. Union of India

AIR 2001 SC 3958

One of the counsels of Shah Bano’s, Danial Latifi challenged the act, Protection of Rights on Divorce on the basis of its constitutional validity under Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India. Following the landmark judgment in Shah Bano's case, Muslim personal law was in a state of disarray. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which upheld the Muslim Women's constitutional legitimacy. The aforesaid legislation (Protection of Rights on Divorce) was passed to appease a specific segment of society, with the goal of rendering the judgment in Mohd. Ahmed Khan Vs. Shah Bano Begum[1] ineffectual.

During Shahbano's case, the husband appealed against the M.P. High Court's decision, which ordered him to pay Rs. 179 per month to his divorced wife, an increase from the paltry sum of Rs 25 per month originally allowed by the Magistrate. In the instance at hand, the couple had been married for over 43 years. The sick and old woman was ejected from her husband's home. Husband paid Rs 200 per month in maintenance for 2 months, then stopped paying, therefore his wife filed a petition under Section 125 Criminal Procedure Code, claiming that his husband had promptly dissolved the marriage under the Muslim Triple Talaq Provision. He had paid Rs 3000 as postponed Mahar and some Iddat Period upkeep. As a result, the petition was denied on the basis that she had already received the sum owed to her on divorce under Muslim law.

The most important aspect of the case was that the woman had been married for more than 40 years and had given birth to five children, making her unable to pursue any job on her own, making remarriage one of the case's unthinkable acts. His spouse, an advocate with a monthly salary of RS 5000, sent Rs 200 to his wife, who had lived half of her life with him and also raised his five children, and was in severe need of money.

The petitioner stated that the goal of Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. was to address a scenario in which a divorced woman was likely to gain from divorce, in light of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which deals with the protection of life and personal liberty. To avoid similar scenarios, Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code was created. If the remedies in section 125 in regards to Muslim women are not used, there may be violations of Article 14 and Article 21. It would be against the secular spirit of India's constitution if the provisions of section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, were not enforced in reference to Muslim women who are destitute.

The defendant stated that Parliament might amend section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, to eliminate its application and replace it with personal law.

If the legislature wants to apply section 125 Criminal Procedure Code, to Muslim women as a matter of policy, can alter, revoke, or modify its implementation and provisions.

The Supreme Court, in affirming the law's legitimacy, ruled as in accordance with Sec 3(1)(a), a Muslim husband is responsible for paying maintenance, which may be prolonged beyond the Iddat Period, as well as making reasonable and equitable preparations for his divorced wife's future. If her relatives are unable to support her, the Magistrate may order the State Wakf Board to provide her support under the statute. The provisions of the legislation do not violate Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution of India.

[1] (1985) 2 SCC 565: 1985 SCC (Cri) 245: 1985 Cri Lj 875: AIR 1985 SC 945.


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