Maintenance a Protection | Code Of Criminal Procedure | Women Protection of Rights on Divorce

Maintenance a Protection


Section 125 of the code of criminal procedure works as a protective shield around the most vulnerable class of our society that is divorced wife, left out woman, children, and parents. The basic object behind introducing this provision is the vulnerability of these particular classes, which could easily scum to social evils and might get involved in any kind of illegal activity.



If any person having sufficient means, neglects or refuses to maintain-

  1. his wife, who is unable to maintain herself.
  2. his minor child whether legitimate or illegitimate, unable to maintain itself.
  3. his major child, except a married daughter, where such child is physically or mentally abnormal and cannot maintain itself
  4. Or his father or mother who is not able to maintain themselves.



The person with the sufficient means does not mean the sound economic condition of a person, but his able body, or physical fitness. He will have to maintain his family even if he is no less than a beggar or monk.



Here wife should be legally wedded wife. But, in some cases court also provided maintenance to parties living together in a live-in-relationship.

In the case of saudamini Devi v. Bhagirathi Raj, 1982 criLJ 539: The court held that strict proof of legal marriage is not necessary and parties living together as husband and wife would be sufficient for a woman to claim maintenance.

In another case of chanmuniya v. Virendra Kumar Singh Kushwaha(2011) I SCC 141: the court decided that prevention of the Domestic Violence Act should be applicable to a woman seeking maintenance under section 125 of the code of Criminal procedure.



According to the principles of Mohammedan Law, a divorced wife could claim maintenance only up to the expiry of the iddat period and not beyond that. Which was contradicting section 125 of the code, in the historic decision of the Mohd. Ahmed khan v. Shah Bano Begum(1985)2 SCC 556: the court held that Muslim women were entitled to maintenance under section 125 even after parliament came up with the Muslim Women(Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986. In another case of Daniel Latiffi, the court interpreted the word ’within the iddat period’ to provide women with maintenance for his whole life or until she remarries.



Father and mother include adoptive fathers and mothers who are not able to maintain themselves. A childless stepmother may also claim maintenance.


Minor children that are children below the age of 18 years and not able to maintain themselves can also demand maintenance. Minor children also include a minor married daughter.

Only such major children i.e., above the age of 18 years can demand maintenance who are injured or physically or mentally unfit and unable to maintain themselves.



 A wife cannot claim maintenance: 

1)if she is living in adultery.

2) living separately from her husband with mutual consent.

3) If she has no sufficient reason to live with her husband.


Magistrate of first-class will deal with the issue and may grant interim maintenance to aggrieved parties.

Every person is born with a right and to exercise that right is his discretion. Maintenance is such a right that has to be exercised if in dire need.





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