Maintenance under Section 125 of The Code of Criminal Procedure

The object of this provision is to provide a summary remedy to the dependent wife, children, and parents from destitution and to serve a social purpose. The right under these provisions cannot be defeated by anything in the personal law of the parties.

Who is Entitled to Maintenance

  1. Wife if she is unable to maintain herself,
  2. Legitimate or illegitimate minor child, whether married or not, who is unable to maintain himself or herself
  3. Father or mother who is unable to maintain himself or herself,


Relief available

Where a person having sufficient means refuses or neglects to maintain the persons eligible as above:
A Magistrate of the First Class may, upon proof order such person to pay a monthly allowance at the rate not exceeding RS. 500 on the whole.
In case of a minor female married child the Magistrate may order the father to pay such maintenance, until she attains the age of majority, if the Magistrate is satisfied that the husband of such minor female child is not possessed with sufficient means.
"Minor" means a person who has not completed the age of 18 years.
"Wife" includes a woman who has been divorced by, or has obtained a divorce from, her husband and has not remarried.

Where to file the application

The application for maintenance may be filed in the district where
  1. He is, i.e. where he works for gain or;
  2. He or his wife resides, or;
  3. Where he last resided with his wife, or as the case may be, with the mother of the illegitimate child.

There is no period of limitation prescribed for making an application for maintenance.


No wife shall be entitled to receive an allowance from her husband if:
  1. She is living in adultery, or
  2. Without any sufficient reason she refuses to live with her husband, or
  3. They are living separately by mutual consent.

However if the husband has married another woman or keeps a mistress, it shall be considered to be just ground for the wife's refusal to live with him.

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