MUSLIM WOMEN (PROTECTION OF RIGHTS ON DIVORCE) ACT 1986
THE MUSLIM WOMEN (PROTECTION OF RIGHTS ON DIVORCE) ACT, 1986
ACT No. 25 OF 1986
An Act to protect the rights of Muslim women who have beendivorced by or have obtained divorce from, their husbands and to provide formatters connected therewith, or incidental thereto
BE it enacted by Parliament inthe Thirty–seventh Year of the Republic of Indiaas follows: –
1.Short title and extent: (1) This Act may be called theMuslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
2.Definitions: In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-
(a) "divorcedwoman" means a Muslim woman who has married according to Muslim law, andhas been divorced by, or has obtained divorce from, her husband in accordancewith Muslim law;
(b) "iddat period" means, in the case of a divorcedwoman, –
(i) threemenstrual courses after the date of divorce, if she is subject to menstruation;
(ii) threelunar months after her divorce, if she is not subject to menstruation; and
(iii) ifshe is enceinte at the time of her divorce, the period between the divorce andthe delivery of her child or the termination of her pregnancy, whichever isearlier;
(c) "Magistrate"means a Magistrate of the First class relating jurisdiction under the Code ofCriminal Procedure, 1973 in the area where the divorced woman resides;
(d) "prescribed"means prescribed by rules made under this Act.
3.Mahr or other properties of Muslimwoman to be given to her at the time of divorce: (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any otherlaw for the time being in force, a divorced woman shall be entitled to–
(a) areasonable and fair provision and maintenance to be made and paid to her withinthe iddat period by her former husband;
(b) where she herself maintainsthe children born to her before or after her divorce, a reasonable and fairprovision and maintenance to be made and paid by her former husband for aperiod of two years from the respective dates of birth of such children;
(c) an amount equal to the sumof mahr or dower agreed to be paid to her at the timeof her marriage or at any time thereafter according to Muslim law; and
(d) allthe properties given to her before or at the time of marriage or after hermarriage by her relatives or friends or the husband or any relatives of thehusband or his friends.
(2) Where a reasonable and fairprovision and maintenance or the amount of mahr ordower due has not been made or paid or the properties referred to in clause (d)of sub–section (1) have not been delivered to a divorced woman on herdivorce, she or any one duly authorised by her may,on her behalf, make an application to a Magistrate for an order for payment ofsuch provision and maintenance, mahr or dower or thedelivery of properties, as the case may be.
(3) Where an application hasbeen made under sub–section (2) by a divorced woman, the Magistrate may,if he is satisfied that–
(a) her husband havingsufficient means, has failed or neglected to make or pay her within the iddat period a reasonable and fair provision andmaintenance for her and the children; or
(b) the amount equal to the sumof mahr or dower has not been paid or that theproperties referred to in clause (d) of sub–section (1) have not beendelivered to her,
make an order, within one monthof the date of the filing of the application, directing her former husband topay such reasonable and fair provision and maintenance to the divorced woman ashe may determine as fit and proper having regard to the needs of the divorcedwoman, the standard of life enjoyed by her during her marriage and the means ofher former husband or, as the case may be, for the payment of such mahr or dower or the delivery of such properties referredto in clause (d) of sub–section (1) to the divorced woman:
Provided that if the Magistratefinds it impracticable to dispose of the application within the said period, hemay, for reasons to be recorded by him, dispose of the application after thesaid period.
(4) If any person against whoman order has been made under sub–section (3) fails without sufficientcause to comply with the order, the Magistrate may issue a warrant for levyingthe amount of maintenance or mahr or dower due in themanner provided for levying fines under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2of 1974), and may sentence such person, for the whole or part of any amountremaining unpaid after the execution of the warrant, to imprisonment for a termwhich may extend to one year or until payment if sooner made, subject to suchperson being heard in defence and the said sentencebeing imposed according to the provisions of the said Code.
4.Order for payment ofmaintenance: (1)Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this Act orin any other law for the time being in force, where a Magistrate is satisfiedthat a divorced woman has not remarried and is not able to maintain herselfafter the iddat period, he may make an orderdirecting such of her relatives as would be entitled to inherit her property onher death according to Muslim law to pay such reasonable and fair maintenanceto her as he may determine fit and proper, having regard to the needs of thedivorced woman, the standard of life, enjoyed by her during her marriage andthe means of such relatives and such maintenance shall be payable by suchrelatives in the proportions in which they would inherit her property and atsuch properties as he may specify in his order:
Provided that where suchdivorced woman has children, the Magistrate shall order only such children topay maintenance to her, and in the event of any such children being unable topay such maintenance, the Magistrate shall order the parents of such divorcedwoman to pay maintenance to her:
Provided further that if any ofthe parents is unable to pay his or her share of the maintenance ordered by theMagistrate on the ground of his or her not having the means to pay the same,the Magistrate may, on proof of such inability being furnished to him, orderthat the share of such relatives in the maintenance ordered by him be paid bysuch of the other relatives as may appear to the Magistrate to have the meansof paying the same in such proportions as the Magistrate may think fit toorder.
(2) Where a divorced woman isunable to maintain herself and she has no relatives as mentioned in sub–section(1), or such relatives or any one of them have not enough means to pay themaintenance ordered by the Magistrate or the other relatives have not the meansto pay the shares of those relatives whose shares have been ordered by theMagistrate to be paid by such other relatives under the second proviso to sub–section(1), the Magistrate may, by order, direct the State WakfBoard established under section 9 of the Wakf Act,1954 (29 of 1954), or under any other law for the time being in force in aState, functioning in the area in which the woman resides, to pay suchmaintenance as determined by him under sub–section (1) or, as the casemay be, to pay the shares of such of the relatives who are unable to pay, atsuch periods as he may specify in his order.
5.Option to be governed by theprovisions of sections 125 to 128 of Act 2 of 1974: If on the date of the firsthearing of the application under sub–section (2) of section 3, adivorced woman and her former husband declare, by affidavit or any otherdeclaration in writing in such form as may be prescribed, either jointly orseparately, that they would prefer to be governed by the provisions of sections125 to 128 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), and file suchaffidavit or declaration in the court hearing the application, the Magistrateshall dispose of such application accordingly.
Explanation: For thepurposes of this section, "date of the first hearing of theapplication" means the date fixed in the summons for the attendance of therespondent to the application.
6.Power to make rules: (1) The Central Governmentmay, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out thepurposes of this Act.
(2) In particular and withoutprejudice to the foregoing power, such rules may provide for –
(a) theform of the affidavit or other declaration in writing to be filed under section5;
(b) theprocedure to be followed by the Magistrate is disposing of applications underthis Act, including the serving of notices of the parties to such applications,dates of hearing of such applications and other matters;
(c) anyother matter which is required to be or may be prescribed.
(3) Every rule made under thisAct shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House ofParliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which maybe comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if,before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or thesuccessive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification inthe rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shallthereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as thecase may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall bewithout prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.
7.Transitional provisions: Every application by a divorcedwoman under section 125 or under section 127 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 (2 of 1974) pending before a Magistrate on the commencement of this Act,shall notwithstanding anything contained in that Code and subject to theprovisions of section 5 of this Act, be dispose of by such Magistrate inaccordance with the provisions of this Act.