High Court holds first and second wives must be maintained equally

When I logged on to the Times of India this morning, this was one of the headlines. The High Court here in Mumbai (the highest court in the country is the Supreme Court of India) has ruled that when a Muslim man remarries without having divorced his first wife, he must maintain the first wife to the same level as he does the second.

Mr Khan claimed that he gave his first wife talaaq (verbal divorce) four years ago, but the court rejected this due to lack of documentary evidence. A maintenance order was originally made in favour of the first wife for around a quarter of Mr Khan’s salary, but the High Court has now made an ongoing maintenance order of over half his salary.

I found this story interesting as to me (as an outsider) it shows the law acknowledging cultural and religious difference. (However, as you can see from the comments on the story, this is not necessarily a popular approach).

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