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DANIAL LATIFI V. UNION OF INDIA

Danial Latifi v. Union of India (2001) 7 SCC 740

ISSUE:

  • Whether the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act of 1986 is constitutionally valid?

RULE:

  • A careful reading of the Act would indicate that a divorced woman is entitled to a reasonable and fair provision of maintenance.
  • A divorced Muslim woman who has not remarried can proceed under Section 4 of the Act against her relatives who are liable to maintain her in accordance with Muslim law, should the relatives be unable to maintain the woman, a Magistrate may direct the State Waqf board to pay such maintenance.

FACTS:

  • The Shah Bano case led to the passage of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act of 1986 that allegedly nullified the Shah Bano judgement by limiting the liability of the husband to the iddah period of 90 days.
  • It is claimed that the Act was passed solely to appease certain sections of society.
  • Further contended is the fact that it is violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

HELD:

  • It was held that at the time of the divorce, the husband must bear in mind the future needs of the wife and make arrangements for the same. Such a requirement to pay maintenance extends beyond the iddah period.
  • The Supreme Court further ruled that the provisions of the Act do not offend Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India. Following this, the Act was upheld.