Maintenance

The concept of maintenance in India is covered both under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the personal laws. This concept further stems from Article 15(3) reinforced by Article 39 of the Constitution of India, 1950 (the 'Constitution'). Under Indian law, the term maintenance includes an entitlement to food, clothing and shelter, being typically available to the wife, children and parents. It is a measure of social justice and an outcome of the natural duty of a man to maintain his wife, children and parents, when they are unable to maintain themselves. The object of maintenance is to prevent immorality and destitution and ameliorate the economic condition of women and children.

Maintenance can be claimed under the respective personal laws of people following different faiths and proceedings under such personal laws are civil in nature. Proceedings initiated under Section 125 however, are criminal proceedings and, unlike the personal laws, are of a summary nature and apply to everyone regardless of caste, creed or religion.

Following statues govern maintenance in India:

o   Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.)

o   Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act

o   Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act

o   Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act

o   Hindu Marriage Act

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