What is Order for maintenance of wives, children and
parents? What is procedure for proceedings for maintenance?
Section 125 and 126 of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973
Order for maintenance of wives, children & parents and
procedure are defined under Section 125 and 126 of CRPC 1973.
Provisions under these sections are:
Section 125 of CRPC "Order for maintenance of wives,
children and parents"
(1) If any person having sufficient means neglects or refuses to
(a) his wife, unable to maintain herself, or
(b) his legitimate or illegitimate minor child, whether married
or not, unable to maintain itself, or
(c) his legitimate or illegitimate child (not being a married
daughter) who has attained majority, where such child is by
reason of any physical or mental abnormality or injury unable to
maintain itself, or
(d) his father or mother, unable to maintain himself or herself,
a Magistrate of the first class may, upon proof of such neglect
or refusal, order such person to make a monthly allowance for
the maintenance of his wife or such child, father or mother, at
such monthly rate not exceeding five hundred rupees in the
whole, as such Magistrate thinks fit, and to pay the same to
such person as the Magistrate may from time to time direct:
Provided that the Magistrate may order the father of a minor
female child referred to in clause (b) to make such allowance,
until she attains her majority, if the Magistrate is satisfied
that the husband of such minor female child, if married, is not
possessed of sufficient means.
Explanation.- For the purposes of this Chapter, -
(a) "minor" means a person who, under the provisions of the
Indian Majority Act, 1875( 9 of 1875) is deemed not to have
attained his majority;
(b) "wife" includes a woman who has been divorced by, or has
obtained a divorce from, her husband and has not remarried.
(2) Such allowance shall be payable from the date of the order,
or, if so ordered, from the date of the application for
(3) If any person so ordered fails without sufficient cause to
comply 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 allowance remaining
unpaid after the execution of the warrant, to imprisonment for a
term which may extend to one month or until payment if sooner
Provided that no warrant shall be issued for the recovery of any
amount due under this section unless application be made to the
Court to levy such amount within a period of one year from the
date on which it became due:
Provided further that if such person offers to maintain his wife
on condition of her living with him, and she refuses to live
with him, such Magistrate may consider any grounds of refusal
stated by her, and may make an order under this section
notwithstanding such offer, if he is satisfied that there is a
just ground for so doing.
Explanation.- If a husband has contracted marriage with another
woman or keeps a mistress, it shall be considered to be just
ground for his wife's refusal to live with him.
(4) No wife shall be entitled to receive an allowance from her
husband under this section if she is living in adultery, or if,
without any sufficient reason, she refuses to live with her
husband, or if they are living separately by mutual consent.
(5) On proof that any wife in whose favour an order has been
made under this section is living in adultery, or that without
sufficient reason she refuses to live with her husband, or that
they are living separately by mutual consent, the Magistrate
shall cancel the order.
Section 126 of CRPC "Procedure"
(1) Proceedings under section 125 may be taken against any
person in any district-
(a) where he is, or
(b) where he or his wife resides, or
(c) where he last resided with his wife, or as the case may be,
with the mother of the
(2) All evidence in such proceedings shall be taken in the
presence of the person against whom an order for payment of
maintenance is proposed to be made, or, when his personal
attendance is dispensed with in the presence of his pleader, and
shall be recorded in the manner prescribed for summons-cases:
Provided that if the Magistrate is satisfied that the person
against whom an order for payment of maintenance is proposed to
be made is willfully avoiding service, or willfully neglecting
to attend the Court, the Magistrate may proceed to hear and
determine the case ex parte and any order so made may be set
aside for good cause shown on an application made within three
months from the date thereof subject to such terms including
terms as to payment of costs to the opposite party as the
Magistrate may think just and proper.
(3) The Court in dealing with applications under section 125
shall have power to make such order as to costs as may be just.