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Shah Bano judgment comes to woman’s rescue | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: A Muslim man leading a luxurious life went disappointed from the Supreme Court, which chided him before dismissing his plea seeking reduction of monthly maintenance to his first wife, whom he had given talaq 12 years back, from Rs 15,000 to 10,000 on the ground that he had to maintain his second wife and children.
Importantly, it was the landmark Shah Bano judgment — which ruled that though under Shariat law Muslim men are obliged to give maintenance to the wife only during the Iddat period, under the secular criminal procedure code they have to giv e alimony to the divorced wife till she remarries — came to the rescue of the first wife.
A bench of Chief Justice N VRamana and Justice A S Bopanna pooh poohed the man’s claim that he had an income of only Rs 25,000 and0 that it was difficult for him to dish out Rs 15,000 every month to the first wife. His counsel P R Kovilan Poongkuntran said that the first wife did not have any children and lived with her paren ts. “She does not need any financial assistance from the husband, who has remarried and has to support his secondwife and their children. Please reduce the monthly maintenance from Rs 15,000 to Rs 10,000,” he pleaded.
A livid bench asked, “Does the first wife vanish in thin airafter divorce? Does she not need money to survive?” The bench then referred to the Madras HC judgment, which said that “even from his (the petitioner M S Khader Basha) own disclosure, it is seen that the firm in which he is the partner has an annual turnover of Rs 1,48,00,625. But he stated that the said turnover of the firm generates only a net income of Rs 3,54,349. ”
The HC also said, “It is difficult to understand that a firm which is having a turnover of Rs 1. 5 cror e is getting only a profit of Rs 3,54,349. So it is understandable that the petitioner has given some low figures just to create a make-belief thathe has no sufficient income.”
Pointing out that the man lived a “luxurious life” and had paid bills up to Rs 1 lakh after getting treated at a premier hospital in the city, the HC said, “No person having just Rs 25,000 as monthly income could meet such huge medical expenses by opting to get admitted in a costly hospital. ”
Dismissing the petition, the SC said, “When you live in luxury, you need to main tain your divorced first wife. Rs 15,000 per month is not such a huge sum for the SC to interfere with. If the first wife had stayed with you, you would be spending much more than Rs 15,000 per month. ”

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