Maintenance imposes obligation to provide certain basic needs, such as food, clothes, shelter, medical aid etc… without which a person can not survive. Maintenance has been defined under section 3(b) of Hindu Adoption and maintenance Act. Under the act all the basic requirement that a person needs to survive is defined along with the reasonable expenses required for the marriage of unmarried daughter. Section 125 to 128 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with maintenance of wives, children and parents. Means the dependent categories of people require support , one of the way of providing such support is through maintenance.
Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals maintenance of wife , children and parents. Wife means a legally married wife and a divorced wife. The specialty of maintenance under section 125, it applies to all wife irrespective of religion and this section provides speed remedy. In order to claim maintenance under this section , the wife must be abandoned and she have no reasonable mean to maintenance herself. The wife should not refuse to live with her husband with out any reasonable cause. In case when the wife get remarried or in case of adultery she cannot claim maintenance under this section.
As said , under this section all legally married women who are eligible can claim maintenance irrespective of religion. In Shah Bano’s case , leads to Muslim women rights to maintenance under section 125 of CrPC and court upheld the maintenance of Muslim women. Where as this decision was criticized by Muslim Philosophers and Central Government passed a new act to resolve the problem by The Muslim Women’s (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986. This act overruled Shah Bano’s case . This particular act was also subject to criticism as bad law . The effect of the new act allows Muslim Women to invoke relief under section 125of CrPC only with the consent of husband. This concept was overruled in Umar Khan v. Gulshan Begum.
A Hindu wives is also entitled to claim maintenance under The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956. Section 18 provide maintenance for Hindu married wives . Under this act the wife who is capable of maintaining herself and has sufficient means is also entitled to get maintenance . Another important aspect is that , Even if the wife is cohabitating with her husband in same house is also entitled to get maintenance. Wives who is remarried or live in adultery is not entitled to get maintenance.
Another provision that provides maintenance for a Hindu married women is under the Hindu Marriage act of 1955. Under this act section 24 and 25 deals with maintenance. Whereas both the spouse are entitled to get maintenance. Either of them who has no sufficient means to live on her or his own is entitled to claim maintenance under this act. Section 24 of the act provides maintenance pendent lite and expenses of the proceedings of the case and section 25 deals with permanent alimony and maintenance.
Maintenance imposes obligation on a person to provide maintenance and it is the duty of every person to maintain his wife , children and aged parents, who are unable to live their own. I this article I have almost covered all the aspects regarding maintenance of wives under various provisions.
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