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MAINTENANCE

                    MAINTENANCE

INTRODUCTION
Marital disputes are increasing in India and cases like dowry, divorce, 
maintenance, domestic violence are increasing in courts. It has been observed 
that whenever a woman approaches the court against her husband, she makes a 
maintenance claim.
This is why Manu, the penetrating Smritikar of ancient Hindu law, had 
represented on every Hindu person that he should bind and feed his aged 
parents, Sadhvi wife and children.
MEANING
Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides that " if any person, having 
sufficient means, neglects or refuses to maintain....his wife, unable to maintain 
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.
The word maintenance is of wide connotation. The most precise definition of it has been given under Section 3 (b) of the Hindu Adoption & Maintenance Act, 
1956, which reads as under:-
"in all cases, provisions for food, clothing, residence, education and medical 
attendance and treatment; in the case of an unmarried daughter, also the 
reasonable expenses of an incident to her marriage."

DUTY OF A HUSBAND AS PER LAW
1. It is the responsibility of the husband to take care of his wife and children, 
and even in the event of a dispute, the court orders the husband to give 
interim maintenance to the wife several times. 

2. Criminal Procedure Code 1973 [CrPC] - Under Section 125 of the Criminal 
Procedure Code 1973, the wife claims to receive maintenance from her husband. 
There are some grounds of this law, which if a woman is not present in the claim of maintenance, then the husband may be relieved of the responsibility of providing maintenance.

3. It is worth mentioning that under Section 18 to 20 of the Hindu Adoption 
and Maintenance Act, 1956, provisions have been given for the maintenance of wife and children.

4. In the case of Kaniappan v. Akilandama AIR 1954 Madras 427, The Court stated that maintenance is not a religious law. The main objective of this method is to make the person aware of his obligation 
towards his family and to establish a society where the person does not fail 
to provide sustenance to his dependent people. The Bombay High Court 
has said in one of its orders that even if a woman relinquishes her right to 
remuneration from her husband, she still retains her right to demand the 
same under criminal penal procedure.

HUSBANDS ARE IMMUNE TO THIS LOGIC:
If the wife is doing a job, it is often argued on behalf of the husband, because 
section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, states that the husband will 
feed the wife who is unable to take care of herself. In case of maintenance, the wife takes immunity from the husband in the 
maintenance case that the wife is not capable, as stated in the Act. The husband side tries to base the wife's earnings. There are some cases in which the husband has taken the immunity that the wife is capable of earning herself, so her 
maintenance application should be rejected. 

The Supreme Court has an important decision in this matter.
1. The judgment of Shailaja and others vs Khubanna SC 2017 stated that the 
wife is capable of earning and the wife is earning, these two things are 
different. The wife does not lose her support simply because she is able to 
earn.
2. In the case of Rajesh v. Sunita and others, the Punjab and Haryana High 
Court held that it is the ultimate duty of a husband to take care of his wife 
and children, whether he has to beg, borrow or steal. In this case, the 
husband had not paid the maintenance to his wife for almost four years, 
after which the court sentenced him to 12 months. Apart from this, if it is 
proved on the part of the husband that the wife remains separated from 
him without any reason, then the courts while hearing the application of 
maintenance of the wife, consider this fact.
3. In the case of Anil vs Mrs. Sunita, the Madhya Pradesh High Court held that 
the wife was staying away from her husband for no reasonable reason, so 
the court rejected the maintenance application. In the case of 
maintenance, the party who has complete facts and if they are proved in 
court, can decide in its favor. Each case has its own different points and 
circumstances, so by looking at the facts of the case in the light of the 
relevant law, the party itself realizes how strong its case is.

WIFE DOES NOT INHERIT MAINTENANCE IN THE 
FOLLOWING SITUATION
1. If the wife is perceiver.
2. If she refuses to live with her husband without any reasonable reason.
3. If both husband and wife are living separately by mutual consent.
4. In the case of a married daughter, a magistrate may order maintenance 
only for the period until the daughter attains adulthood or her husband 
does not have the proper means to maintain maintenance.

CASE LAWS SUPPORTING MAINTENANCE TO A WIFE
1. It is stated in the case of Ashish Vs DC Tiwari. 
That - The provisions of Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are 
in accordance with the provisions of Social Security described in Articles 15 
(3) and 39 of the Constitution.
Only for hindus, this stream is not a secular stream and thus the structure 
of the family is fine according to Hinduism but according to other religions 
it is not right and this type of rule has been tried to impose it on other 
religions.

2. A famous case of the round has been Mohammad Ahmed Khan v. 
Shahbano Begum. The case went up to the Supreme Court and the 
secularism of Section 125 was also debated. There have been uproar all 
over the country and the 'Protection of Rights on Muslim Women Divorce 
Act 1986' was passed in the Parliament of India.Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is a completely secular 
section and this section is not related to any particular religion and if its 
provisions meet any particular religion, then it is a coincidence because its 
provisions are to the present system of society and individuals which Looks 
perfectly fine.

3. In the case of Chand Begum v. Hyderbeg, it has been said that under 
section 125, the rights of marriage of husband and wife are not considered 
in the trial. Because the purpose of section 125 is limited only to the right 
to maintenance. A case under this section is settled by a brief process whereby justice is obtained as quickly as possible.
The Supreme Court said the right to maintenance of a wife was absolute 
and no exceptions could be made, ruling that Section 125 of the Code of 
Criminal Procedure, which embodies this rule, would apply to divorced 
Muslim women as well. “If the husband is healthy, able-bodied and is in a 
position to support himself, he is under the legal obligation to support his 
wife, for the wife’s right to receive maintenance under Section 125 CrPC, 
unless disqualified, is an absolute right,” a bench ..
The Punjab-Haryana High Court referred to Section 125 of the Criminal 
Procedure Code, stating that 'wife is not defined but, no woman can be 
considered a wife except a legally married wife. Section 5 of the Hindu 
marriage law states that if neither of the two spouses is alive, they can 
marry each other. Thus any marriage in which this provision has been 
violated will not be valid.

4. The Calcutta High Court has said in one of its judgments that if a working 
woman who has sufficient financial resources is not entitled to demand 
alimony from her husband. The Calcutta High Court, while hearing a 
petition of a woman living separately from her husband, rejected her 
request for alimony.
5. The husband challenged the order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court to give 
a living allowance of Rs 15,000 per month to the estranged wife of a doctor 
from Hyderabad.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that when wives living separately 
demand alimony, husbands start saying that they are living financially or 
have become poor. The apex court made the remark to a doctor in Hyderabad working in a reputed hospital, that he should not quit his job just because his wife is demanding alimony.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta refused to 
interfere with the order passed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court directing 
the doctor to provide an interim in the interim of 15,000 to maintain his 
estranged wife.
After hearing the application and hearing the arguments, the family court 
ordered maintenance of Rs 15,000 per month to the wife and child till the 
main petition is disposed of.

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