Shah Bano Case: The Muslim Women Act (Landmark Case)
Shah Bano Case: The Muslim Women Act (Landmark Case)

Case Name – Mohd. Ahmed Khan vs. ShahBano Begum

Citation no: 1985 AIR 945, 1985 SCR (3)844

Bench –

  1. Y.V
  2. D.A
  3. O.Chinappa
  4. E.S
  5. Ranganath


This is a landmark judgement in securing the rights of muslim women on the maintenance field. A provision was applied in terms of uniform civil code.

Fact of the case:

  1. An application was made under Sec125 in regards to maintenance granted to a wife who is unable to maintain herself. Wife includes a women who has been divorced or has obtained divorce and not remarried.
  2. The Appellant was a advocate by Profession married to Respondent in 1932. They begot 3 sons and 2 daughters out of the Marriage.
  3. In 1975 the appellant drove the respondent out of the home. In 1978 respondent filed a petition under sec125 of Crpc, in JMFC Indore for maintenance.
  4. In 1978 the appellant divorced the respondent by irrevocable Talak and took up the defence that since she is no more a wife he has no obligation to provide maintenance to her as he has already paid Rs.200 per month for 2 years in a manner of Dower during the period of Iddat.
  5. In 1979 the Magistrate directed to pay a sum of Rs.25 per month to the respondent by way of maintenance.
  6. The High Court of Madhya Pradesh enhanced the amount to Rs.179.20 per month.
  7. The Husband made a special writ petition to Supreme Court.


Judgement :

  1. It was held that sec125 of the code is truly secular in character. It was enacted to provide quick and summary remedy to the class of persons who are unable to maintain themselves.
  2. Irrespective of the person being of any religion sec 125 is applicable because it is a part of Criminal Procedure Court and not Civil Laws.
  3. Neglect by a person of sufficient means to not give maintenance to any dependents leads to invoking of 125.
  4. The rights conferred by sec125 can be exercised irrespective of Personal Law of the Parties.
  5. In this case Husband Liabilities to provide maintenance doesn’t get limited into the boundation of time period of Iddat but as long as the wife is unable to maintain herself or remarried even though Iddat period is over.






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