News By/Courtesy: Sonika Sekhar | 24 Jan 2020 0:07am IST



Maintenance refers to an amount of money that is provided to a person who is unable to look after himself or herself. This maintenance amount is provided to the individual in order to sustain oneself and to afford the bare necessities of life in order for existence and functioning. Maintenance is usually observed to be provided to minor children, unmarried daughters, unfit people, ageing parents who are helpless and are unable to provide for themselves and earn a living.

Maintenance is a concept that is provided for in various legislations such as the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 provides for maintenance under Chapter Nine, from Section 125 to Section 128.

Section 125 of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 applies to those who have the means or the financial resources but is not willing to maintain his relations who are unable to maintain themselves. These relations include the person’s wife, minor children both legitimate and illegitimate (including married children), children at the age of majority who are physical or mentally unfit except married daughters and father or mother. Married daughters who are minors can be maintained if their husbands are unable to maintain them.

Wives who are divorced but not remarried are also entitled to maintenance. However, wives who are living in adultery, separated by mutual consent and refusing to live with their husbands with no sufficient reason will not be entitled to any maintenance and such maintenance orders to these people can be cancelled by the Magistrate. On a sufficient ground if the wife refuses to live with her husband despite his acceptance to maintain her provided that she lives with him, the maintenance order may still be passed by the Magistrate.

These people can be provided maintenance on a monthly basis by an order by the Magistrate of First Class. Further, an interim allowance for maintenance can be allowed during the pendency of the maintenance case, if the Magistrate considers the ground for the application of the interim maintenance reasonable. This interim maintenance is to be disposed of in sixty days from serving the notice.

The maintenance amount is to be paid from the date of the passing of the maintenance order or the date of the application of the maintenance if so ordered. On failure of payment of maintenance amount without any justified reason, the defaulter can be imprisonment as well till the duration of a month or till the maintenance amount is paid. This warrant will be issued only after one year.

Such a maintenance order may be taken against a person in the district of his residence, or where he stays with his wife or where he last stayed with her. All the evidence will be collected in the presence of him or his pleader unless he wilfully neglects to attend the court proceeding. This is elaborated upon in Section 126. Further, the maintenance order can be enforced by the Magistrate under Section 128.

These are the provisions for maintenance under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Section Editor: Prithvijit Mukherjee | 24 Jan 2020 10:53am IST


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