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SECTION 125 CrPC - Code of Criminal Procedure - Order for maintenance of wives, children and parents

(1) If any person having sufficient means neglects or refuses to maintain—

(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


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 maintenance (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 port 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 made:

        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 just ground for so doing


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


Madhya Pradesh:

In sub-section (1) of section 125 of the Act for the words "five hundred rupees" the words "three thousand rupees" shall be substituted
 [Vide MP (Act 10 of 1998), sec 3 (wef 29-5-1998)


In Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, in its application to the State of Maharashtra:—

(a) in sub-section (1),—

(i) for the words "not exceeding five hundred rupees" the words "not exceeding fifteen hundred rupees" shall be substituted;

(ii) before the existing proviso, the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:—

          Provided that, the Magistrate on an application or submission being made, supported by an affidavit by the person who has applied for the maintenance under this sub-section, for payment of interim maintenance, on being satisfied that, there is a prima facie ground for making such order, may direct the person against whom the application for maintenance has been made, to pay a reasonable amount by way of interim maintenance to the applicant, pending the final disposal of the maintenance application:

     Provided further that, such order for payment of interim maintenance may, in an appropriate case, also be made by the Magistrate ex parte, pending service of notice of the application, subject, however, to the condition that such an order shall be liable to be modified or even cancelled after the respondent is heard in the matter:

         Provided also that, subject to the ceiling laid down under this sub-section, the amount of interim maintenance shall, as far as practicable, be not less than thirty per cent of the monthly income of the respondent";

(iii) in the existing proviso, for the words "Provided that" the words "Provided also that" shall be substituted;

(b) after sub-section (2), the following sub-section shall be inserted, namely:—

(2A) Notwithstanding anything otherwise contained in sub-sections (1) and (2), where an application is made by the wife under clause (a) of sub-section (1) for the maintenance allowance, the applicant may also seek relief that the order may be made for the payment of maintenance allowance in lump-sum in lieu of the payment of monthly maintenance allowance, and the Magistrate may, after taking into consideration all the circumstances obtaining in the case including the factors like the age, physical condition, economic conditions and other liabilities and commitments of both the parties, pass an order that the respondent shall pay the maintenance allowance in lump-sum in lieu of the monthly maintenance allowance, covering a specified period, not exceeding five years at a time, or for such period which may exceed five years, as may be mutually agreed to, by the parties";

(c) in sub-section (3),—

(i) after the words "so ordered" the words, brackets, figures and letter "either under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2A), as the case may be," shall be inserted;

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