MAINTENANCE PROCEEDINGS (SECTION 125-128)

by | Oct 10, 2023

MAINTENANCE PROCEEDINGS (SECTION 125-128)

 MAINTENANCE 

  • Maintenance is broadly defined as the provision of means, aid, support, and assistance needed for an individual’s livelihood.
  • Its scope goes beyond basic necessities like food, clothing, and shelter.
  • The primary aim is to prevent starvation, destitution, and vagrancy among dependents.

SECTION 125 : A SUMMARY PROCEEDING 

  • Section 125 proceedings are of a Summary Nature.
  • They do not delve into the intricate personal rights of the involved parties.
  • Courts take a prima facie view of facts, avoiding in-depth examination of matrimonial disputes.

SECTION 125 : MAINTENANCE FOR WIFE,CHILD AND PARENTS 

  • Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code addresses Maintenance for the Wife, Child, and Parents.
  • It empowers the court to order the husband (respondent) to provide monthly Maintenance to the wife if she’s unable to support herself.
  • Exceptions include cases where the husband cannot support, and if the wife lives in adultery or separates without sufficient reason.
  • Mutual consent separation also bars the wife from maintenance.
  • The court must ensure the husband’s capability and the wife’s financial need.

INTERIM MAINTENANCE (SECTION 125)

  • Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides for interim maintenance during ongoing court proceedings.
  • The magistrate can adjust the maintenance amount based on changing circumstances.

MAINTENANCE GRANTS : A SOCIAL JUSTICE METRIC

  • Maintenance grants are rooted in social justice.
  • A person’s fundamental obligation is to provide for their wife, children, parents, and close relatives when they cannot support themselves.
  • The concept aims to prevent immorality and poverty, especially among women and children.
  • Compliance with this moral duty is both legal and binding.

UNIVERSAL APPLICABILITY ACROSS COMMUNITIES

  • The provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), including Section 125, apply to all communities in India.
  • These provisions are secular, safe, and inclusive, covering all faiths, castes, and creeds.
  • While different personal laws may guide individuals, Section 125’s procedures are summary and apply universally.
  • Other religions have their own civil processes for seeking maintenance.

CHAPTER IX OF CrPC : PROTECTING NEGLECTED DEPENDENTS

  • Chapter IX of the CrPC shields neglected wives, parents, and minor children from destitution.
  • Section 125 offers a swift remedy to prevent famine and social unrest.
  • It distinguishes itself from a husband’s civil liability and operates as a summary procedure.
  • It enforces a man’s fundamental obligation to support self-supporting family members.

CORE TENET OF MAINTENANCE (SECTION 125)

  • The fundamental tenet is that no wife, children, or elderly parents should suffer, want or resort to crimes.
  • A First-Class Magistrate can act swiftly to prevent poverty under Section 125.

PURPOSE 

  • The purpose is to protect dependents who cannot support themselves from starvation, misery, and vagrancy.
  • It’s a social justice legislation, specifically safeguarding women, children, and elderly parents.
  • The Magistrate’s role is preventive rather than punitive.

SIMPLIFIED RELIEF AND AVOID LENGTHY LITIGATION 

  • Section 125 offers a simpler, quicker remedy than the cumbersome civil law process.
  • It compels those responsible for dependents to fulfill their duty, avoiding prolonged litigation.

NEGLECT AND REFUSAL TO PROVIDE MAINTENANCE 

  • ‘Neglect’ refers to a disregard of responsibility, whether intentional or unintentional.
  • ‘Refusal’ is clear intent not to fulfill obligations, expressed or implied by behavior.
  • The claimant bears the burden of establishing this.
  • Initially, the wife must live with her husband, but exceptions exist based on valid reasons.

QUANTUM OF MAINTENANCE 

  • Before Amendment Act No. 50 of 2001, the magistrate’s maintenance grant could not exceed Rs. 500.
  • There’s no maximum capacity ; it depends on the circumstances.
  • Rates can occasionally change under Section 127 but should be fixed and predictable.
  • Separate claims for wife and child if both sue the same individual.

SCOPE OF REVISION 

  • In cases against husbands, the court decides maintenance based on circumstances.
  • If the husband is dissatisfied, the legal recourse is revision proceedings.
  • The High Court or Sessions Judge can call for the examination of records.
  • Revision does not apply to interlocutory orders in trial proceedings.

JURISDICTION : SECTION 126

Applicants can submit maintenance applications based on convenience –

  • Applicant’s residence or place of business.
  • Respondent’s residence or principal place of business.
  • The last shared residence.
  •  Where the respondent works or maintains a business.

Multiple jurisdictions allow ease of application and effective enforcement.

ARRANGEMENT OR TERMINATION OF ALLOWANCES : SECTION 127

  • Section 127 allows changing or terminating maintenance based on changing circumstances.
  • The magistrate can also modify orders based on civil court decisions.
  • Maintenance order may be revoked in specific situations, such as remarriage or full payment.

ENFORCEMENT OF MAINTENANCE ORDER : SECTION 128

  • If the ordered person fails to comply without good reason, the magistrate may issue a collection warrant.
  • The offender can be held in custody for up to one month or until the debt is paid.
  • Magistrates in relevant locations can enforce such orders.

CONCLUSION 

  • These provisions, though civil in nature, offer quicker and more cost-effective remedies than civil courts.
  • They aim to prevent destitution, vagrancy, and crime among neglected dependents.
  • Section 125’s primary goal is to prevent starvation and vagrancy leading to criminal activities.

Reference:

1-https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/plea-to-strike-down-sec-125-on-maintenance/article29336552.ece/amp/ -THE HINDU

2-https://m.timesofindia.com/topic/section-125-of-crpc -THE TIMES OF INDIA

3-https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/parents-in-law-entitled-maintenance-widowed-daughter-in-law-section-125-crpc-bombay-hc-8564909/lite/ -THE INDIAN EXPRESS 

4-https://m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/right-to-maintainance-of-a-wife-absolute-section-125-of-crpc-applicable-on-divorced-women/articleshow/46830583.cms -THE ECONOMIC TIME

 

Written By Archana Singh

I am Archana Singh, a recent law master's graduate with a strong aspiration for the judicial service. My passion lies in elucidating complex legal concepts, disseminating legal news, and enhancing legal awareness. I take immense pride in introducing my new legal website - The LawGist. Through my meticulously crafted blogs and articles, I aim to empower individuals with comprehensive legal insights. My unwavering dedication is to facilitate a profound comprehension of the law, enabling people to execute judicious and well-informed choices.

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