Maintenance Case Frequently Asked Questions

1) Who can file petition under section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code?

Under section 125 of Cr.P.C., any dependent, children, wife and parents can file the petition for maintenance.

2) What is the difference between Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act and section 125 of Cr.P.C.?

There are 3 major differences between Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act and section 125 of Cr.P.C.

a) Under section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act only person belonging to Hindu religion can claim for maintenance and Under section 125 of Cr.P.C., a person belonging to any religion can claim maintenance.

b) Under section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act, maintenance is received only for the duration of the case proceedings whereas under section 125 of Cr.P.C., maintenance is permanent.

c) Under Section 24 Hindu Marriage Act only husband and wife can claim for maintenance, on the other hand under section 125 of Cr.P.C., wife, parents and children can claim maintenance.

3) What is the difference between the provision of maintenance under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and section 125 of Cr.P.C.? Which out of the two can applicant claim?

Both proceedings are different from each other and there are many judgments in this regard. Both of these cases are decided according to merits. Applicant can claim maintenance wherever higher amount is decided.

4) How much maintenance is awarded by the Court? How is the amount of maintenance decided?

Both of the parties to the case are required to furnish their affidavit (as per the format prescribed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India) before the Hon’ble Court in which income, assets and expenditure are mentioned. Not only income documents but also the living status of the parties is considered. According to a Delhi High Court judgement wife get up to 33% of husband’s income as maintenance for herself.

5) How much time does a case under section 125 of CrPC usually takes? When will the petitioner get maintenance?

It is right that case proceedings take a long time because it takes time to produce evidence and witnesses, while one party levels allegations, the other party puts forward its defence and in some cases there are counter allegations. So an interim application is filed which is decided within in 60 days from the date of service to the opposite party. In extremely urgent cases, the Court may also grant ad-interim maintenance on the first date itself.

6) Under which provisions parents can ask for maintenance?

Parents can claim maintenance from their son/daughter either through Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act or through section 125 of Cr.P.C.

7) How minor child and unsound mind person ask for maintenance?

A legal guardian, legal custodian or very next friend can claim maintenance on behalf of a child or a person of unsound mind.

8) When wife cannot ask for maintenance?

a) When Husband is incapable of earning that he is physically disables or of unsound mind and insane.

b) When wife is capable of earning and able to maintain herself.

c) If wife is living in adultery.

d) In case she has left the company of her husband without any valid reason.

9) How can we get maintenance order executed?

Once an order for grant of maintenance is passed, the petitioner may file an execution petition for the satisfaction of said order/award.

10) What are the remedies available against maintenance order? Provisions of appeal?

The order granting maintenance can be challenged before a higher court otherwise in case there is a change in circumstances/income/status of the parties then a remedy is available under section 127 of CrPC.