The Supreme Court has held:
Muslim women entitled to maintenance after IDDAT
In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court has held that a divorced Muslim woman who has not remarried is entitled to maintenance from her ex-husband even after the iddat (three months period after divorce).
A Bench of justices B.Sudershan Reddy and Deepak Verma – Shabana Bano Vs. Imran Khan – rejected husband Imran Khans contention which cited the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Divorce Act, 1986 and claimed that his divorced wife Shabana Bano was not entitled to any maintenance allowance after the iddatperiod as held in the sensational Shah Bano case.
The apex court held that under Section 125 Cr.P.C. and sec.7 of Family Courts Act, 1984 even a Muslim woman can claim maintenance from her husband as long as she is not remarried. The Bench quashed the ruling of a trial court and the Madhya Pradesh High Court which had taken the view that a Muslim woman is not entitled to maintenance after the iddat period.
It is crystal clear that even a divorced Muslim woman would be entitled to claim maintenance from her divorced husband, as long as she does not remarry. This being a beneficial piece of legislation, the benefit thereof must accrue to the divorced Muslim Women, the apex court said citing the judgements in the Danial Latifia and Iqbal Bano cases.