Muslim man challenges Domestic Violence Act

The Delhi High Court has decided to hear the contentious issue after a Muslim man filed a petition challenging a lower court order directing him to pay Rs 8,000 per month as maintenance to his wife, who, he claimed, was divorced from him, under the Domestic Violence Act.

In his petition, the man claimed that the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act particularly Section 23 relating to maintenance cannot be invoked by Mohammedans as similar relief had already been provided to them under Sections 3 and 4 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.

Though the court said it seemed prima facie that Muslim women can invoke provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, but the issue required further examination.

“Prima facie it also appears that the Muslim Women Act would not come in the way of applicability of the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act to Mohammedans; if it were to be so held, owing to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 also containing provisions qua maintenance, Domestic Violence Act would not apply to Hindus also, making the same otiose. However, the said aspect also requires further consideration,” Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, heading the Bench said.

The court issued notice to the Centre and wife of the petitioner. The man also contended since his wife was already divorced, she could not ask for maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

This plea was, however, was dismissed by Justice Endlaw who termed it without any merit.

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