BJP lauds Supreme Court verdict on maintenance for divorced Muslim women under secular law

Party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi says the verdict had “ended” a threat to Constitution by the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, passed by a Congress government in the past

Updated - July 10, 2024 10:11 pm IST

Published - July 10, 2024 07:54 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Senior national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party Dr. Sudhanshu Trivedi addressing a press conference at party HQ in New Delhi on July 10, 2024.

Senior national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party Dr. Sudhanshu Trivedi addressing a press conference at party HQ in New Delhi on July 10, 2024. | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The BJP on July 10 praised the Supreme Court verdict which declared that a divorced Muslim woman was entitled to seek maintenance from her husband under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Addressing a presser at the BJP’s national headquarters in New Delhi, party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said the verdict had “ended” a threat to the Constitution by the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, passed by a Congress government in the past.

“Whenever the Congress has been in power, the Constitution was under threat. It was under the Rajiv Gandhi government that a decision was taken which gave primacy to Sharia over the Constitution. The prestige of the Constitution which was crushed during the Congress government has been restored by this order. The verdict has ended one of the big threats posed to the Constitution,” said Mr. Trivedi.

In what is popularly known as the Shah Bano case, the Supreme Court in 1985 had allowed her plea for alimony from her husband after she was divorced. However, the then Congress government passed a law in Parliament to overrule the verdict following protests from conservative Muslim groups.

Mr. Trivedi said the Supreme Court’s verdict should be seen in the light of restoration of equal rights rather than of religion.

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“There is no secular state where Sharia provisions like halala, triple talaq and Haj subsidy were allowed and the then government by enacting a law had turned India into a partial Islamic state,” he claimed.

In a judgment of far-reaching implications, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a Muslim woman can seek maintenance from her husband under Section 125 of the CrPC and said the “religion neutral” provision is applicable to all married women irrespective of their religion.

‘Not charity’

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 will not prevail over the secular law, a Bench of Justices B.V. Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih said, while stressing that maintenance is not charity but the right of all married women.

Mr. Trivedi also lauded the fact that Russia’s highest state award, Order of St Andrew the Apostle, was conferred on Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Russia.

Taking a swipe at the Opposition parties, who have questioned Mr. Modi over foreign issues, including the Ukraine war, he said they had the habit of casting doubts on every auspicious occasion.

Slamming the Congress, he said the party had passed a resolution at its CWC meeting in support of Palestine after conflict broke out between Israel and militant group Hamas.

“I want to ask the Congress whether any resolution was passed on the Russia-Ukraine issue. On how many international issues, has the CWC [Congress Working Committee] passed any resolution,” he said, adding that the opposition party should not engage in petty selfish politics over foreign issues.

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