Karnataka High Court gave relief for divorced women seeking maintenance decree

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The Karnataka High Court delivered that a Muslim man curiously contracting another marriage after pronouncing talaq upon his first wife cannot be heard to say that he has to maintain the new spouse and the child begotten from her as a ground for not discharging the maintenance decree. “A Muslim marriage is not a sacrament, (and) does not repel some rights and obligations arising from its dissolution, the Karnataka high court has said, striking a man’s plea and coming to the rescue of his ex-wife, who has been fighting for enforcement of the trial court’s maintenance decree for the last decade. Justice Krishna S Dixit said that “He ought to have known his responsibility towards the ex-wife who does not have anything to fall back upon; the said responsibility arose from his own act of talaq and prior to espousing another woman; the responsibility & duty owed by a person to his ex-wife are not destroyed by his contracting another marriage”. The Karnataka High Court has held that a Muslim man is duty-bound to make provision for his ex-wife's maintenance beyond the iddat period, despite payingMehr if she remains un-remarried and is incapable of maintaining herself. Justice Krishna S. Dixit observed that while dismissing, with a cost of ₹25,000, a petition filed in 2015 by Ezazur Rehman of Bengaluru. The petitioner had challenged the 2011 decree of a civil court directing him to pay ₹3,000 monthly maintenance to his ex-wife, Saira Banu, whom he had divorced by way of talaq within eight months of marriage way back in 1991. He was put in civil prison in 2012 for non-payment of maintenance and he moved the High Court in 2014 after the civil court rejected his contentions of financial incapacity to pay maintenance. The petitioner had claimed he was not liable to pay anything beyond the ₹5,000 paid as mahr and the ₹900 paid as maintenance for three months in 1991. Justice Krishna S Dixit further said, "Marriage amongst Muslims begins with the contract and graduates to the status as it ordinarily does in any other community; this very status gives rise to certain justiciable obligations...such a marriage dissolved by divorce, per se does not annihilate all the duties & obligations of parties by lock, stock & barrel; in law, new obligations too may arise, one of them being the circumstantial duty of a person to provide sustenance to his ex-wife who is destitute by divorce." Finally, the Karnataka high court delivered that“It is a case of a hapless divorced woman who has secured a decree for her maintenance after years of struggle; she is relentlessly battling for its enforcement. It is a case involving the jural correlatives resting on the shoulders of ex-spouses by virtue of talaq”.