While interpreting this term, a “Mehr” in Islam is an amount of money or other property to be paid or delivered or promised to be paid by the husband to the wife it is either specified or unspecified; but in either case, the law confers a mandatory right of dower on wife. It is typically specified in the muslim marriage contract which is signed by both of the parties.
A talaq is considered invalid, In the event of non-payment of mehr which is like a consideration. A mehr is a right of the married muslim women and she can even sue her husband if he refuses to pay her mehr.
Supreme Court observed in a case of “Abdul Kadir v. Salima AIR 1980” that, the marriage contract is easily dissoluble and the freedom of divorce and of polygamy which is in the hands of the husband restrain by the mechanism of mehr. Thus, right of wife to her mehr is a fundamental feature of the marriage contract.
A muslim wife may relinquish or remit her rights to mehr. She may do so either out of natural love or to gain affection from her husband and then husband is under no obligation to pay the remitted mehr.
It is a vested right and courts can decide this by taking the financial status of husband if mehr hasn’t been agreed upon at the time of marriage.
BY- Shikha Goyal, Student Reporter, INBA.