Case Summary : Danial Latifi vs. Union of India

Case Name- Danial Latifi vs Union of India

CITATION- AIR 2001 SC 3958

DECIDED ON- 28th Sept. 2001

BENCH- G.B. Pattanaik, S. Rajendra Babu, D.P. Mohapatra, Doraiswamy Raju, Shivraj V. Patil


The one of counsel of Shah Bano’s, Danial Latifi Challenged the above act on the basis of its constitutional validity as violation of article 14 & 15. After the Landmark Judgement of Shah Bano’s Case, There was a chaos condition in the Muslim personal law.


  1.  The case was challenged before the supreme court to validate the constitutional validity of the Muslim Women.
  2. The above act (Protection of Rights on Divorce) was passed to pacify a particular section of the society in accordance with the intention of keeping ineffective the decision which was made in Mohd. Ahmed Khan Vs. Shah Bano Begum.
  3. During Shahbano’s Case the husband had appealed against the judgement which was given in M.P. High Court, Court directed him to pay to his divorced wife Rs. 179 Per Month and enhancing the small sum of Rs 25 per month originally granted by the Magistrate.
  4. In the above case the couple had been married for about 43 years before. The ill and elderly wife was thrown out of the husband’s house.
  5. For 2 Months husband paid maintenance of Rs 200 Per Month, after that payment by his husband was ceased so his wife under Section 125 Cr.P.C. filed Petition and said that his husband has immediately dissolved the marriage under Triple Talaq Provision of Muslims.
  6. He had Paid Rs 3000 as deferred Mahar and some maintenance for the Iddat Period. Therefore petition was dismissed on grounds that she had received the amount due to her on divorce under the Muslim law applicability.
  7. Most Important point of the case was that wife had matrimonial relationship for more then 40 years and also she have borne 5 children so she was incapable to take any career independently that is remarriage was one of the impossible act of the case.
  8. His husband, an advocate with income of RS 5000, provided Rs 200 per month, to his wife who had shared half of her life and also matured his 5 children, was in desperate need of money for survival.



  1. The purpose of  Section 125 of Cr.P.C. was to meet a situation wherein a divorced wife was likely to get benefitted from divorce so taking into consideration the Article 21  of the Constitution of India which is related to Protection of Life and Personal Liberty. Sec 125 of Cr.P.C. was enacted to prevent such situations.
  2. There Could be violations of Article 14 & Article 21, if remedies of section 125 in relation with Muslim Women are not applied.
  3. If the applicability of the provisions of sec 125 of Cr.P.C. were not applied in relation to muslim women who are deprived then it will be against the secular character of constitution of India.


  1. The Parliament could change sec 125 of Cr.P.C. so as to set aside its application and apply personal law instead.
  2. In a matter of Policy, the legislature wants to apply sec 125 Cr.P.C.. to muslim women then it can be amended, withdraw or change its implementation and its provisions.
  3. Section 125 of Cr.P.C. is not made to create right of maintenance which may be out side the scope of personal law, hence it could not stand as an act.


Supreme Court upholding the validity of the act, decided as follows:-

  1. Muslim Husband is liable to pay maintenance which might be extended beyond the Iddat Period in terms of Sec 3(1)(a) and also make reasonable and fair provisions for divorced wife for her future.
  2. If divorced muslim women who has not remarried and who is not able to maintain herself after Iddat period can proceed under Sec. 4 of the act which says that she should be maintained by relatives in proportion of the her property which her relatives inherit after her death.
  3. If relatives are not able to maintain her, Magistrate may direct the State Wakf Board stabilize under the act to pay such maintenance.
  4. Article 14,15 and 21 of Constitution of India is not offended by the provision of the act.

Danial Latifi vs Union of India