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This article features the plight of wedded women who attempt to look for divorce from their spouses and inspects the legislative help accessible to them to advance out of this mental and financial crisis.


The word ‘Maintenance’ is not defined in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Chapter IX of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with provisions for maintenance of wives, children and parents. Section 125 of Criminal Procedure Court gives remedy to those who are ignored and look for maintenance. A lawfully married lady is only considered as a “wife”. ‘Maintenance’ in common meaning is keeping something in great condition. ‘Maintenance’ in lawful meaning is alimony (divorce settlement) that somebody must pay routinely to a previous spouse, particularly when they have had children together. It is the obligation of each individual to maintain his spouse, children and matured guardians, who are not able to live on their own.


Divorce is the “legal disintegration of a socially and lawfully recognized conjugal relationship that changes the commitments and privileges of the two people included. It is additionally a major life change that has far-reaching social, lawful,  financial, and individual consequences”. In common terms it is considered as the ending of a marriage. A breakup in relationship is certainly the foremost appalling circumstance for a individual that results into an emotional difficulty. The mental health pointers which are influenced by divorce relate to depression, outrage, low self-esteem, and uneasiness. Divorce leads to destitute mental and physical wellbeing in ladies. Divorced ladies have the most vulnerability to chronic ailment, particularly over a period of time compared with married ladies. Divorce has gotten to be a genuine issue; challenging the foundation of the family in a routine way and causing serious impacts on the emotional and mental wellbeing of the person particularly, ladies. Since ladies are considered as the binding drive within the family, they are accepted to be responsible for whatever off-base is done. It has been contended that women contribute more within the family, take a bigger duty for marriage, and thus perceive divorce as a more prominent failure than men do.


There are several issues which are confronted by the ladies in their pre and post divorce life. Divorced ladies confront different troubles and challenges related to social, familial, monetary, emotional and mental issues. After divorce ladies face different sort of issues such as: social rejection, blame by relatives and kin, family support, challenges related to getting a separate house, financial hardships, badgering and abuse, issues related to emotional connection, mental issues such as: depression, health issue, suicide attempt, injury, feeling forlornness and lack in confidence.


Often ladies uncover that divorce results in social dismissal. Ladies feel that they are treated as in case they belong to a diverse bunch since they are divorced. And that they don't share the same kind of relationship with their friends as prior. Status of divorced ladies falls apart as compared to married one. They feel embarrassed that they are not married. Moreover are frightened to create contact with old companions. The before marriage and after marriage relationship too changes with friends who attempt to keep distance due to their social prestige.


Divorce is a social phenomenon. In some of the time it comes about in serious consequences that a divorced lady reaches to stage of trauma. The other shape of mental result is the issue of forlornness. Life as divorced lady is one of feeling forlorn and alone.


Financial angle is a vital, prevailing and compelling component of the society. Each joy, trust, support and sympathy or pressure, clash, quarrel and maladjustment or conjugal inconsistency within the family is the cause of financial variables. The divorce rate is higher in life partners having more desire from each other, confronting financial hardship and going far from their home due to the financial accomplishments.

The other topic that recognizes is financial results of divorce on ladies. The issue of ladies after divorce is a financial issue too. Family member have diverse responses to divorce and partition. Frequently, spousal support and child support is denied to ladies, when this happens, ladies are put beneath huge stretch to bear the burden of being a single parent. Most of the ladies don't work before divorce, but they take up employments after their divorce to adjust to their financial costs. They begin to work so that they don't end up being burden on their families. Money related crises are a standing situation with most of the divorced women. It becomes difficult to meet the essential needs of children.


In numerous matters relating to marital disputes, time swallows the help looked for by the party concerned. Maintenance of spouse and children is one of the essential duty of the husband and in most of the cases, in spite of the fact that support is ordered, the husbands deny to pay the support. Husbands frequently abuse the process of the court and draw out the case without indeed paying a single pie to the spouse towards support. The husband and his family members by all strategies colluded with each other and utilize the courts to defeat the rights of the women.

These are a classic example of 'Law's delay', 'Court's delay', 'Judge's delay', 'System law', 'System failure'. All the stakeholders in the administration of gender justice should owe duty for this too bad state of affair.

In marital proceedings, the ladies and children are battling the spouse, and are not on equal footing. A few ladies gets monetary support from their parents, brothers and sisters additionally a few work and earn. However, these are all exceptional cases. Numerous ladies and children are incapable to face the attack of marital proceedings because of their monetary crisis. The spouses abuse their this pitiable situation. This indeed is a zone where 'women empowerment' is totally lacking.

In view of the frantic surge in marital Courts, it is very simple to go into these Courts, but exceptionally troublesome to come out of these Courts in a short span of time. It is time devouring. The ladies and children monetarily suffer very much. Amid the pendency of the wedding proceedings without appropriate monetary support their survival gets to be exceptionally troublesome. They moreover suffer emotionally, mentally, physically, and additionally financially (monetarily) also.

The ladies and children are in a disadvantageous position, while it isn't so in the case of husbands. Capitalising their this monetary limitations, the husbands torment them by dragging on these straightforward maintenance petitions for years together. Adding fuel to their stresses, the Courts also contribute their portion by their long delay in disposing of these straightforward maintenance petitions. Actually by their inaction the Courts abets the execution of wedding viciousness and abuse of ladies and children by the spouses.

Presently this woeful circumstance prevails in nearly all the Family Courts and in other Courts dealing with marital litigations. The situation isn't far better in the Magistrate's Courts dealing with maintenance petitions under Section 125 Cr.P.C. In the event that statistics of the pendency of these maintenance petitions are called for from these Courts and examined, we will be compelled to hung our heads, we'll be ashamed to see the face of the affected ladies and children.

The ladies and children are standing in lines in these Courts to urge help even in these straightforward maintenance petitions for a long time together. It is very a sickening sight. They do not get their due share of justice within the administration of gender justice by these Courts. Essentially, the ladies and children are ignored by these Courts. Only name sake benefit is being rendered to them.

Thus, in cases where husband does not pay maintenance regularly, recovery claims become more cruel than the married life was.

The Law Makers have fixed a prescribed period within which these maintenance petitions have to be disposed of (Sections 24, 26 of Hindu Marriage Act, Section 36 of Special Marriage Act, Section 37 of Indian Divorce Act, Section 39 of Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, also 3rd proviso to Section 125 Cr.P.C and Central Act No.50 of 2001). Generally, these petitions should be dispose of within 60 days from the date of service of notice on the wife. Subsequently, in some Statutes, this period also has been reduced.

However, what is happening within the Family Courts, within the other marital Courts and within the Magistrate's Courts is exceptionally disturbing. The learned Judges try these basic maintenance petitions like a murder case in a Sessions Court or like a most complicated suit before a Civil Court. Subsequently, this too contributes to the Law's delay.

After a cruelling workout, the spouse and children gets maintenance orders, by and large, a paultry sum, unreasonable and unmatching to the high inflation and spiraling costs of even basic commodities. In some cases, the Courts reject them on a misunderstanding of law.

After so much lawful fight, a few kind learned Judges passes maintenance orders. This will flag one portion of conclusion of a journey. Subsequently, the ladies needs to battle another fight to gather the maintenance sum so requested by filing collection petition or the Execution Petition. The husband will be prepared to spend any sum on marital case but he will not have the heart to pay a comparatively insignificant sum towards maintenance to his spouse and children.

The circumstance isn't cheerful within the revisions and appeals filed before the Courts. The ladies and children will be compelled to wait for several years and till the orders are passed they suffer in silence. This is not the point of law. This is not a correct justice delivery system.

Unlike in other litigations delay within the disposal of maintenance petitions influences the ladies and children exceptionally much. It influences a cross segment of the society. It is the lady enduring. There are cases in which the lady and children might not get monetary support to survive themselves and face the marital litigations started by the husbands. Eventually, they give up the legal fight, take off the Court with injured sentiments. And ex parte orders are freely passed. The blundering husbands joyfully take off the Court. There's a victor and a vanquished. The result is failure of justice. These are stark realities gazing at our face.


There's no point in crying over the spilt drain. Past is past. Let us think of long run. A few remedial measures ought to have endeavored. Judges managing with these basic things must realise their duties and their social commitment towards these sort of prosecutors. They must keep in mind their pitiable situation. Preposterous delay within the disposal of these straightforward maintenance petitions shows inefficiency on the part of the learned Judges.

The High Court cannot be a quiet, onlooker to this stark realities in life. The Court can deliver appropriate direction and instructions to the learned Judge. The Criminal Revisions emerging from these maintenance matters are too required to be disposed of speedily.

The aim ought to be to secure succor to the affected ladies and children quickly. In these matters postponed justice is refusal of or burial of justice. Here quick justice is the need of the hour. Our learned Judges are to be sensitized. They must made of aware of this darker side of gender justice.


  4. Deepa vs Balaji on 13 April, 2017 C.R.P.(PD) No.1366 of 2017
  5. Dhanalakshmi vs Kavitha on 18 January, 2018 CRP(NPD)(MD)No.1307 of 2008 and MP(MD)No.1 of 2012
  6. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2018; 7(1): 207-212

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