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Tarun Dhingra (Advocate)     12 February 2011

Extenstion of punishment for not paying MAINTENANCE

Hello everbody My quary is regarding extension of Punishment for not paying MAINTENANCE Take one example , A is wife of Z . and Court order to Z to pay mainteannce Rs1500 per month . But Z does not comply with order of paying Rs1500 ultimatly He is sent to jail for one month (and he is not holding any salary account and any property so attachment is not possible to avoid the punishment ) . and According to Cr.P.C 125(3) He can be punished by the way of simple punshiment upto 1 month or UNTILL PAYMENT IF SOONER MADE . Now my qaury is that----> 1.whether this one month can be extended futher by the Magistrate If yes upto what extent ? If not wheter Will he be relasesed ????


 5 Replies

Rajesh Kumar (Advocate)     12 February 2011

These maintenance provisions are extortioninst provisions and must be repealed.

By the way, under the present provision, the man may be ordered to spend his life time behind bars without any remission.

Jamai Of Law (propra)     12 February 2011

repitition of your post.


Read the law again, you will get the answer..................By going in civil prison for a 1 month period, can a husband avoid all the arrears of payment of all the months of default?  


ha..ha ha ha ha


(then everybody would have gone in prison for '1 month' and avoided the payment!!! If husband goes in jail...)

It's not meant to be an equivalent penalty/vindicative 'panecea to victim' which would automatically feed the decree holder .........or extiguish the hunger/poverty of that person e.g.  wife, child or aged parents........................Money awarded to decree holder is for subsistence!!!

1 Like

Jamai Of Law (propra)     12 February 2011

1 month prison is meant for every 1 month of default...unless ALL arrears paid .....


(3) If any Person so ordered fails without sufficient cause to company with the order, any such Magistrate may, for every breach of the order, issue a warrant for levying the amount due in the manner provided for levying fines, and may sentence such person, for the whole, or any part of each month's 4[ allowance for the maintenance or the interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding, as the case be,] remaining unpaid after the execution of the warrant, to imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or until payment if sooner made:


Arrears can't be squared off by imprisonment.......imprisonment is as a punishment for failure to pay on time...not for failure to pay.


Payment is the time one spends 1 month in jail....and one doesn't comply ......................he is liable for another month ......................because start of another month also generates another due payment of that month ............ and his  status as a 'defaulter' continues unles he pay ALL arrears once.




Correct me If I am wrong....

1 Like

Tajobsindia (Senior Partner )     13 February 2011

@ Author

A defaulting husband under S. 125 CrPC can only be sent to maximum 1 month simple imprisonment as per Law as laid down by various HC's. Which State the case is from?


Prashant (Junior)     18 March 2012

please read this judgment SHAHADA KHATOON AND OTHERS V. AMJAD ALI AND OTHERS reported in 1999 (5) SCC 672. which says The short question that arises for consideration is whether the learned Single Judge of the Patna High Court correctly interpreted sub-section (3) of Section 125 of Cr.P.C by directing that the Magistrate can only sentence for a period of one month or until payment, if sooner made. The learned counsel for the appellants contends that the liability of the husband arising out of an order passed under Section 125 to make payment of maintenance is a continuing one and on account of non-payment there has been a breach of the order and therefore the Magistrate would be entitled to impose sentence on such a person continuing him in custody until payment is made. We are unable to accept this contention of the learned counsel for the appellants. The language of sub-section (3) of Section 125 is quite clear and it circumscribes the power of the Magistrate to impose imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or until the payment, if sooner made. This power of the Magistrate cannot be enlarged and therefore the only remedy would be after expiry of one month. For breach or non-compliance with the order of the Magistrate the wife can approach the Magistrate again for similar relief. By no stretch of imagination can the Magistrate be permitted to impose sentence for more than one month. In that view of the matter the High Court was fully justified in passing the impugned order and we see no infirmity in the said order to be interfered with by this Court. The appeal accordingly fails and is dismissed."

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