The provisions of maintenance act are entitled to fulfil a social purpose. These provisions are contained in Criminal procedure code, 1973 under section 125 to 128 under the Hindu marriage act, 1955 under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance act, 1956. Under the protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. The maintenance and welfare of Parents and Senior citizens act, 2007.
The object of all these provisions is to compel a man to perform the moral obligations, which he owes to the society in respect of his wife, children and parents. By provisions a simple and speedy but limited relief. These provisions seek to ensure that the neglected wife and children are not left beggared and destitute on the scrapheap of society and there by driven to a life of vagrancy, immorality and crime for their subsistence.
The inability of the wife, child and father or mother to maintain themselves could lead to social problems and therefore, it became the concern of the state not to allow such inability to grow in to social problems of great magnitude unless the consequences of such inability were checked by providing appropriate measure, large scale vagrancy could be the probable off-shoot there from.
The legal definition of maintenance is the financial support that is paid by one ex-spouse to another pursuant to a legal separation or divorce. This financial support is for the wife’s or the divorced wife’s livelihood, for her children, for the maintenance of the property, and in certain cases, even to enable her to be adequately represented in the lawsuit.
MAINTENANCE UNDER VARIOUS LAWS:
Maintenance under Hindu Law
Maintenance under Muslim Law
Maintenance under Christian Law
Maintenance under Paris Law
Maintenance under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
Maintenance under protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
The maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens Act, 2007
Maintenance under the CrPC is secular in nature, as any woman belonging to and practicing any religion or faith can approach the court under this. The law of maintenance is given under the section 125-128 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and is civil in nature. Under this section, maintenance can be claimed by the wife, children and parents. Section 125 to 128 provide for a speedy, effective and rather inexpensive remedy against persons who neglect or refuse to maintain their dependent wives, children and parents.
Under the Hindu Laws, the male counterparts are also eligible to receive maintenance. But in cases of second marriage, the second wives can only get respite under the secular law of maintenance under section 125 of the CrPC. So, the CrPC is a better recourse to get maintenance compared to the Hindu Personal Law
In case of Muslim women, it is definitely more beneficial for them to approach the court under the CrPC for claiming maintenance, rather than under their personal law. Also, it also applies on divorced women, unlike the Muslim Personal Law. It also provides for a lifetime maintenance, unlike the Muslim Law that only provides for maintenance till the Iddat period.