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The 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure does not define the term "Maintenance." The Code of Criminal Procedure's Chapter IX discusses the rules governing a wife's, child's, and parent's support. In general, "maintenance" refers to keeping something in good shape. In the legal sense, "maintenance" refers to recurrent monetary payments (alimony) made to a former spouse, husband, or partner, particularly when they have children together. Every person has a responsibility to care for their spouse, kids, and elderly parents who are unable to live on their own.


The following are the purpose and scope of the procedures for maintenance of spouses, children, and parents:

There are no penalties associated with the proceedings. The primary goal of Chapter IX of the Cr.PC is not to punish someone for failing to support others who are dependent on them.

The major goal is to prevent homelessness by using a method to quickly relieve the suffering of people who are in it.

It does not distinguish between people of different castes or religious backgrounds.

It has nothing to do with the individual laws of parties.

Who is eligible for maintenance claims?

Order for maintenance of wives, children, and parents is covered under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The following people may make claims for and receive maintenance in accordance with Section 125(1):

Wife from his husband, Minor (physical or mental abnormality) from his father, Minor (illegitimate or legitimate) from his father, and Father or mother from his Son or Daughter.


The Supreme Court defined "wife" in the case of Chanmuniya v. Virendra Singh, and it now covers situations in which a man and woman have been cohabiting as husband and wife for a considerable amount of time. Maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.PC should not be subject to strict verification of marriage as a requirement.

The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Smt. Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav v. Ranantrao Shivram Adhav that a woman's marriage to a man who already has a spouse is absolutely invalid in the eyes of the law and that she is not eligible for benefits under Section 125 of the Cr.PC.

The following situations allow a wife to request and receive maintenance from her husband:

She is unable to support herself and has either been granted a divorce by her husband or obtained a divorce from her husband. She has not remarried. and she does not qualify for benefits under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The following circumstances prevent a wife from requesting or receiving maintenance from her husband:

If the wife is having an affair, refuses to live with the husband for any reason, or living apart with mutual agreement.


According to Section 3 of the Indian Majority Act of 1875, a person who is over the age of 18 but is considered to have not acquired his or her majority is referred to as a "Minor."

Under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a Minor Son (Legitimate or Illegitimate) is entitled to maintenance.


If a Minor Daughter (Legitimate or Illegitimate) is single, she has a right to maintenance from her father. If she is married, she also has a right to maintenance from her husband's father, but the magistrate must be convinced that he lacks the necessary resources to support his minor wife. In the case of Shahbuddin v. State of Uttar Pradesh, it was determined that a minor daughter who attained majority while the application for maintenance was pending was entitled to support till the date of majority.

A majority-age aberrant child, whether legitimate or not

The father of any significant kid, whether legal or not, who is abnormal (mentally or physically unfit) must support him and may make a maintenance claim on the basis of abnormality.


Both the biological mother and father may seek support.

Adoptive mothers are considered mothers and are entitled to support from their adopted son.

Because it is a legal requirement, a father may claim maintenance; this claim cannot be disproved by arguing that the father did not fulfil his parenting responsibility.

A stepmother without children may request maintenance.

In Pandurang Bhaurao Dabhade v. Baburao Bhaurao Dabhade, the Bombay High Court ruled that if a parent is unable to support himself, they may seek maintenance under Section 125(1)(d). However, it's also crucial to remember that if parents ask for maintenance from their kids, the kids must have the money to support them even if they neglect or refuse to support their parents.

The person requesting maintenance must be unable to provide for themselves.

The inability of the individual requesting maintenance to support themselves is a crucial requirement for awarding maintenance. For instance, a wife who earns well cannot make a maintenance claim under this Section. According to the ruling in the case of Abdulmunaf v. Salima, a wife who is able to support herself and is in good health and education but chooses to remain in the home and request maintenance from her husband is still entitled to do so, but under these circumstances, she would not be eligible for the full amount of maintenance.

A special allowance for the maintenance of a young married woman

It is the father of a minor daughter's husband's responsibility to provide maintenance if he lacks the resources to do so. Daughter who is married and a juvenile under certain circumstances is entitled to maintenance from the father. A person who is unable to care for oneself is the defendant in the case of Alok Banerjee vs Atoshi Banerjee.

How to perform maintenance

The "Procedure for maintenance" is covered in Section 126 of the Criminal Procedure Code. As stated in this Section:

Wherever the defendant is, where he or his wife resides, or where the defendant most recently lived with his wife or the mother of an illegitimate child is the district in which a proceeding under Section 125 may be brought.

The individual against whom maintenance is to be ordered must be present while the evidence is being collected.

Ex-parte evidence is taken if a person is willfully dodging a summons in that situation.

Magistrates have the authority to handle maintenance cases

A Magistrate of the First Class may order a person to make a monthly allowance for the maintenance of his wife, children, or parents at such monthly rate as the Magistrate deems fit, and to pay the same to such person as the direction of the magistrate, in accordance with Section 125(1)(d), if the person neglects or refuses to maintain his wife, children, or parents.

If a minor female child is not married, the magistrate may rule that such an allowance be made until she reaches adulthood. If a minor female child marries and the magistrate determines that her husband lacks sufficient financial resources, the magistrate may order the father of the minor female child to provide such an allowance for maintenance.

The Magistrate can order a person to pay a monthly allowance for the interim support of his wife, children, or parents as well as the expenses of such proceeding that the Magistrate finds appropriate when a proceeding about monthly allowance for maintenance is ongoing.

A request for a monthly allowance for interim maintenance and legal fees must be resolved within sixty days of the day the applicant was notified of the request.

In accordance with Section 125(2), if a court grants such an allowance for maintenance or interim maintenance and proceeding costs, it should be paid as of the date of the order or, if not, as of the date the application for maintenance and costs was filed.

In accordance with Section 125(3), if a person disobeys an order without good reason, the magistrate may order the issuance of a warrant for the levying of the penalty. If the offender continues to fail following the warrant's execution, they will be punished with jail for a period that could last up to one month or until payment is paid, whichever comes first.


The protection of the rights of the divorced wife, children, and elderly parents depends on Chapter IX of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It is designed to safeguard them from strange means of living. Everyone with the necessary resources has a responsibility to maintain their property. There are many provisions connected to maintenance included in this chapter of the Cr.PC, such as who is entitled to maintenance, necessary requirements for awarding maintenance, procedure for maintenance, modification of the prior order, enforcement of order of maintenance, etc.

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