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Case Analysis-Mohd Ahmad Khan v/s Shah Bano Begum

Mohd. Ahmad Khanv/Sshah Bano Begum - (Air 1985 Scr (3) 844) - Triple Talaq Landmark Case
Bench Of Judges: Y.V Chandrachud, D.A Desai, O.Chinnappa Reddy, E.S Venkataramiah, Rangnath Misra

Mohd. Ahmad Khan V/S Shah Bano Begum[1]is a landmark lawsuit which has dealt with the problem of "Triple Talaq Verdict". This case is normally mentioned as "Shah Bano Case". It is considered to be a very debatable and problematic legal contest in India. This lawsuit has substantiated to be a milestone in the struggle of rights, freedom for the Muslim women.

It is all about Shah Bano fearless and valiant struggle against the system of Triple Talaq. Instead of creating a history or story of a suppressed women she faced the embarrassment's of the community and her husband. Even though she was facing such a drastic situation in her life she elected to struggled against her husband and faced the the world where everyone was in favor of her husband, and above all she bravely decided to fight against the male-dominated society. She fought against the system of Triple Talaq and at last her efforts not went in vain, she was able to achieve what she wanted and has altered the system eternally.

The facts of this case are given below:-
# In 1932, Shah Bano was married to Mohd. Ahmad khan, who was a renowned lawyer in Indore.
# They were the parents of 3 sons and 2 daughter i.e. in total they have 5 children.
# After 14 yrs. Of their marriage Shah Bano's husband married another women who was younger than him.
# In 1975, when Shah Bano age was of 62 yrs , she was disowned by her husband and was thrown out from her matrimonial home along with her children.
# In April 1978, she brought a appeal under Sec. 125 of code of criminal procedure, 1973 (CrPC) in the presence of judicial magistrate of Indore after when she was thrown away from her matrimonial home by her husband.
# Shah Bano filled this suit in 1978 because her husband has abandoned her from the maintenance of Rs. 200 per month which he guaranteed to give.
# A wife who is without any income and is neglected by her husband is entitle to maintenance, which includes a divorced wife who is not remarried[2].
# In Nov. 1978, he gave divorce to his wife Shah Bano by articulating or uttering "Triple Talaq and it was irrevocable.
# The argument or conflict between Shah Bano's children and her husband's other wife were vital reason or grounds on which divorce was relinquished and furnished.
# After he pronounce irrevocable Triple Talaq, he took a safeguard that since because of this divorce she has been terminated to be her legal wife and due to which he was not accountable to furnish her with maintenance or alimony.
# The local court ( magistrate) court directed Mohd. Ahmad to furnish her Rs. 25 per month to Shah Bano in a form of maintenance.
# Shah Bano in July 1908, apart from this, made a plea to High Court of M.P, to alter the amount of maintenance to Rs. 179 every month.
# Shah Bano's precedent went to Supreme Court and filled a petition against the verdict of High Court of Madhya Pradesh.
# Her husband essential argument after divorce he cannot keep any form of alliance or connection with his divorce wife because it is not allowed by Islamic laws/Islam and is "Haram" & hence he is not legally responsible to maintain her wife.

Issues Raised In This Case:-
# Whether Section 125 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure is concerned with Muslims or not.
# Whether the amount of Mehr given by the husband on divorce is adequate to get the husband rid and is liable to maintain his wife or not.
# whether Uniform Civil Code applies to all religions or not.

# The verdict of Shah Bano case was conveyed by C.J, CHANDRACHUD.
# All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Jamiat ulema-e-Hind were the two Muslim Bodies accompanied the lawsuit as an intervenor.
# On 3rdFeb. 1981, Supreme Court gave an like-minded conclusion in this case and banished the plea of Mohd. Ahmad Khan and validate the verdict of High Court.
# The court held that Section 125[3]of Code Of Criminal Procedure solicited to Muslims too, without any sought of discrimination.
# Supreme Court in this case duly held that, since responsibility of Muslim husband towards her divorced wife is limited to the extent of " Iddat" period , even though this situation does not contemplates the rule of law that is mentioned in Section 125 of CrPc.,1973[4]
# According to Supreme Court this rule according to Muslim Law was against humanity or was wrong because here a divorced wife was not in a condition to maintain herself.
# Thus at the end, after very long procedure court finally concluded that the husband is legal liability will come to an end if divorced wife is competent to maintain herself.
# But this situation will be reversed in the case when wife is not able in a condition to to finance or maintain herself after the Iddat period, she will be entitle to receive maintenance or alimony under Section 125 of CrPc.

Muslim Women ( Protection Of Rights On Divorce) Act, 1986:-
The judgement given in Shah Bano Case was criticized among Muslims and according to them this decision was in conflict with the rules of "Quran" and "Islamic Laws/ Islam". So Parliament of India in 1986, (Congress govt.) decided to enact the Muslim women (Protection Of Rights Of Divorce) Act, 1986. The main objective of this act was to protect the right of the divorced Muslim women and or to those who have got divorce from their husband's.

The enactment of this act was done by government of Rajiv Gandhi, to invalidate the decision/decree passed by Supreme Court in Shah Bano Begum Case. According to this act, Muslim divorced women should be entitle to adequate and reasonable amount of maintenance till the Iddat period. When a divorced women maintains a child born by her anytime before or after the divorce, the husband is under legal obligation to provide a certain amount of maintenance for the child to a period of 2 yrs. From the birth date of a child. The women is also authorized to obtain "Mahr" or "dower" and receive back all the properties or estate which is provided to her by her parents, friends, relatives, husband or husband's friends. If such advantages are not received by the divorced Muslim women from her former husband, she can apply to magistrate for ordering him to provide her with maintenance/alimony or amount of "Mahr" or dower or her estate or properties[5].

Critical Analysis:-
In the case of Mohd. Ahmad Khan V/S Shah Bano Begum, the Supreme Court specifically underlined the that Triple Talaq cannot take away the maintenance right of a divorced Muslim women who is not in a condition to maintain herself or her children when she is disowned or divorced by her husband. The period when the verdict of Shah Bano Case was delivered by the Supreme Court it faced a lot of criticism. At that point of time Muslim women weather married or unmarried were not given freedom even they were debarred from there basic freedom, which is against humanity and it basically violates the basic or fundamental rights of humans. Muslim women were backward in there status as compared to other women of the world. They were not educated and self-reliant as compared to other women. They faced serious issues and problems which led to the decrease in their level of self-confidence and their knowledge in various sects. Along with these things they were not allowed to study or educate themselves and they were also denied to work either. Since they faced all these things from their very childhood it was very natural that they in their difficult time cannot earn their living and can maintain themselves so for them alimony or maintenance was much needed.

Shah Bano case was a normal case just like other cases of maintenance which has taken place and also the verdict that was concluded by Supreme Court was also similar to the previous lawsuits but the two naked truth that was witnessed in this case made this case a landmark judgement case and the two naked truth was- firstly, spirituality of religious personal laws was criticized and then it was questioned whether Uniform Civil Code is applied to all religion and their followers and secondly, whether CrPc is applied to personal religious laws.

This was the case of a Triple Talaq verdict which according to me was a historic verdict as it maintains the truth and faith of the people in the judiciary as in this case, "Justice and equality has overcome religion". According to me this lawsuit was milestone in judiciary as it was courageous, bold, impartial and unique decision. This judgement has marked the importance of maintenance which should be provided to the divorced Muslim women who are not in the condition to earn and maintain themselves.

Even though the verdict of Shah Bano case given by the Supreme Court was invalidate by the endorsement of Muslim Women Ac[6]t, the court held in further verdict's that divorced Muslim. women, under Section 125 of CrPc can affirm maintenance or alimony from their former husband, or apart from this divorced Muslim women can assert or claim for round some money or amount under Muslim Women Act. The Supreme Court even though after dirty politics passed the judgement that was impartial and at last it had maintained the trust and faith of citizens in judiciary.

[1]AIR 1985 SCR (3) 844.
[2]Section 125 of Code Of Criminal Procedure,1973.
[3]A wife who is without any income, has no source of income is neglected by her husband is entitle to maintenance, which includes a divorced wife who is not remarried.
[4]Aqil Ahmad,Mohammedan Law236-238 (26TH ed..2016).
[5]Aqil Ahmad,Mohammedan Law238-239 (26THed. 2016).
[6]Muslim Women (Protection Of Rights Of Divorce) Act, 1986.

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