About Maintenance ,The Supreme Court recently stated in the case of Anju Garg & Anr. v. Deepak Kumar Garg that: If the husband is able-bodied, he is compelled to generate money even through physical labor and cannot avoid his obligation unless on legally legitimate grounds specified in the statute.

In allowing the appeal, Judge Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Bela M. Trivedi directed the respondent to pay the appellant wife Rs. 10,000/- per month from the date of filing of the Maintenance Petition before the Family Court and gave the minor son Rs. 6,000/- per month.

It was also observed that Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was drafted in order to alleviate the agony, anguish, and financial suffering of a woman who is forced to leave her matrimonial home, so that appropriate arrangements could be made to enable her to support herself and her children.

The purpose of maintenance procedures is not to penalise a person for past neglect, but to avoid a deserted wife’s vagrancy and misery by providing her with food, clothing, and shelter as soon as possible.


Personal Laws and CrPC Maintenance

Section 125 of the CrPC provides for the support of wives, children, and parents. At the same time, the maintenance legislation for Hindus, Muslims, and Christians is provided in their individual personal laws. The law of maintenance enshrined in section 125 of the CrPC is secular in character and can be invoked by anybody, regardless of religion.


Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 and Section 18 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 provide for the maintenance of women under Hindu Personal Law. Under certain conditions, the second wife is entitled to maintenance under Section 125 of the CrPC, according to the landmark decision Badshah v. Sou. Urmila Badshah Godse & Anr.

According to Muslim Personal Law, a husband who divorces his wife must support her during the term of Iddat. Additionally, Section 5 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 allows divorced Muslim women to choose between secular law under the CrPC and Muslim Personal Law.

In Abdul Latif Mondal v. Anuwara Khatun[4], a single Judge of the Calcutta High Court ruled that Sections 3, 4, 5, and 7 of the Act, in addition to claims available under Section 125 of the CrPC, are available to a divorced Muslim woman, and that an order of maintenance passed under Section 125 of the CrPC is not null and void under the Act.

As a result, Muslim women may seek maintenance under the CrPC or the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act of 1986. Other laws that allow for divorce include the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act of 1936 and the Indian Divorce Act of 1869. Section 37 of the Special Marriage Act of 1954 provides for maintenance in inter-faith marriages.

Analysis of a Maintenance Claim Under the Criminal Procedure Code
Accessible to all neglected wives, abandoned divorcees, abandoned children, and hapless parents, regardless of religion, community, or domicile, who can lay hand [under section 126(1)(a), Criminal Procedure Code 1973, if husband, father, or son is found anywhere in India, the magistrate.

1st class, of the location that has jurisdiction to hear a petition under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code] on their husbands, fathers or sons the charitable provision of section 125 which has the purpose, as stated by Justice Krishna Iyer in 1979 “to relieve the economic position of neglected spouses and rejected divorcees”.

In 1882, James Fitzpatrick The pilot of the Code of Criminal Procedure, James Stephen, spoke of section 488 of the CrPC, which was identical to the current section 125, with the goal of “preventing vagrancy or, at the at least, preventing its repercussions.”

The measure was then viewed as a legislative effort to prohibit vagrancy or the repercussions of it. Judge Subba Rao remarked in 1963 that section 488 was debated “to achieve a societal objective.” In 1985, Chandrachud C.J. observed[9] that section 125 imposed on an individual a societal obligation to sustain certain of his close relatives named therein in order to prevent vagrancy and destitution.

Subsection (3) of Section 125 states that a person is not required to pay maintenance to his wife if she refuses to remain with him despite his offer. The explanation to section 125 states that if a husband contracts marriage with another woman or keeps a mistress, there is just cause for his wife’s reluctance to live with him.

The code’s explanation (b) to section 125(1) defines wife to include an unremarried divorced wife. The term “wife” did not include a divorced wife under the old legislation, hence a divorced woman was not entitled to maintenance.

Subsection (4) of Section 125 states that a wife is not entitled to an allowance from her husband under this section if she is living in adultery, refuses to live with her husband for whatever reason, or they are living separately by mutual consent.

Subsection (5) of Section 125 states that if the Magistrate has proof that any wife in whose favour an order has been made under this section is living in adultery or refuses to live with her husband without sufficient reason or that they are living separately by mutual consent, the order shall be cancelled.

Observations and Legal Precedents in the Anju Garg Case

The Supreme Court directed the dismissal of a revision case filed by the appellants in which they challenged the order of the District Judge, Family Court-1, Faridabad, Haryana.

The Family Court dismissed the appellant wife’s and her daughter’s Maintenance Petition under Section 125 of the CrPC in the aforementioned judgement, but granted maintenance to the little son.

The Supreme Court stated in its decision that Section 125 of the CrPC was conceived to alleviate the agony, anguish, and financial suffering of a woman who has left the matrimonial home because of cruelty or harassment, so that appropriate arrangements could be made to enable her to sustain herself and her children, as observed in the case of Bhuwan Mohan Singh vs. Meena & Ors.

The Family Court did, in fact, disregard the fundamental legal principle that it is the husband’s sacred obligation to provide financial support to his wife and minor children. Taking this legal canon into account, the Court concluded that the spouse is compelled to earn money, even if it is through physical labour, if he is able-bodied, and he could not avoid his obligation except on the legally permitted grounds specified in the statute.

The goal of maintenance proceedings is stated in Chaturbhuj v. Sita Bai as not to punish a person for his previous actions, but to prevent vagrancy and starvation of a deserted wife by providing her food, clothing, and shelter through a prompt solution.

Conclusion: According to the Supreme Court, Section 125 CrPC is a social justice policy that was specifically established to safeguard women and children. It also falls within the scope of Article 15(3) of the Indian Constitution, which is reinforced by Article 39.

The court noted that the respondent had tormented and cruelly treated the appellant wife, forcing her to leave the marriage home with her children, and that the respondent had failed and neglected to sustain her and her children while granting the appeal. Given the preceding case laws and the Supreme Court’s rationale, it is evident that the decision in the Anju Garg case will protect the welfare of thousands of women and children across India.

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