Maintenance includes providing food, clothing, residence, education and medical attendance and treatment, for unmarried daughter her marriage expenses is explained under of Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. Section 18 of Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 states about wife’s maintenance. Many personal laws that are prevailing in India have provided laws for maintenance. The status of marriage gives the husband an obligation to maintain his wife under personal laws. Alimony is explained under these sections like Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act, Section 36 of Special marriage Act and Divorce Act and Section 39 of Parsi Marriage Act. The sections that explain about maintenance and permanent alimony to the aggrieved party are Section 35 of Hindu Marriage Act, Section 37 of Special Marriage Act and Divorce Act, Section 40 of Parsi Marriage Act. Under the Mohamedan Law Section 85 states that a wife can claim maintenance in accordance with the provisions of Section 125 of CRPC.
Under Code of Criminal Procedure Section 125 clearly states that a person is bound to maintain his wife, children and aged parents who cannot maintain themselves. Hindu Wife can live separately from her husband and claim maintenance if he is guilty of desertion, cruelty, contagious disease, bigamy, conversion or any other cause. The court usually considers the income and status of person claiming maintenance along with the person who is liable to maintain them. One exception here is a wife cannot claim a maintenance if she is living in adultery, or if they both are living separately by mutual consent. Section 125 does not give absolute maintenance right to the wife but court will consider the fact that if she is unable to maintain herself. Supreme Court in Komalam Amma vs. Kumarapillai (14 November, 2008) held that wife is entitled to separate residence and to be maintained by her husband.
In Muslim law a divorce woman is to be maintained by her relatives and if she has children then her parents has to maintain her if they are unable to do so then State Wakf Board has to maintain her. Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act provides the right of wife to maintenance and for Christians, Indian Divorce Act 1869 states about maintenance rights of the wife.
by Sushma Javare.