Legal Advice

Enhancement of maintenance already fixed by the court


Whether the enhancement of alimony is possible? I married in the year 2003. My husband was rude and careless towards me. Therefore, I finally decided to leave the matrimonial home. Now, I have been residing with my parents. I started working as a school teacher. Unfortunately, my salary is not enough to meet my essential expenses. I am a childless woman but unfortunately suffering from financial paucity. I need financial help, therefore, filed a petition for maintenance under section 125 CRPC. Finally, the court has fixed the monthly alimony as rs. 4000. My husband cheated by making the promise to pay a high amount as maintenance.  I relied upon him and got a mutual divorce from the family court. Now my husband has retracted from his promise and denying to fulfil his obligation. Right now, he has promoted at the post of the senior manager. In light of the above facts, I want enhancement in maintenance. Is it possible to file any suit or petition for an increase in alimony? Kindly help.


You have the right to seek an increase in the amount of alimony granted to you by the court. As per law, it is the husband’s duty to provide for his wife’s basic needs and maintain the same standard of living that she had during the marriage. It appears that the terms of the alimony were agreed upon during the mutual consent divorce, and your husband has failed to fulfill his obligation.

You could have enforced the terms of the agreement by filing an application before the family court. However, you still have the option to file such an application now. Currently, you are receiving a monthly allowance as per the maintenance fixed by the court under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Please note that the court’s order for maintenance under Section 125 CrPC is provisional and can be revised if the court is convinced that the amount is inadequate to maintain your living standards. It is your right to live with dignity and the court takes into account the husband’s standard of living while determining the appropriate amount of alimony. Therefore, you may file an application before the family court seeking an increase in the amount of alimony granted to you.

Section 127 crpc

Section 127 of the CrPC empowers the court to increase or decrease the amount of maintenance if there have been changes in the circumstances of the parties. These changes must be convincing and satisfy the court that an increase or decrease in maintenance is necessary.

In your particular case, the increase in your husband’s salary is a significant factor to consider for enhancing the alimony amount. The court will take this fact into account and may adjust the maintenance accordingly. To support your application, you will need to provide evidence of your husband’s increased salary and how the current amount of alimony is insufficient to meet your needs.

Whether application under section 127 is maintainable?

Yes, the petition for the enhancement of alimony is maintainable. There is no limitation period for filing such an application, so you can approach the court at any time when the alimony becomes insufficient. The wife should not be punished and be bound to live in destitution if circumstances create hardship for her.

Sections 125 to 128 of the CrPC have a significant social impact on the living conditions of the wife, children, and parents. The law ensures that they do not live in starvation, and the responsible person must fulfill their social obligation. Therefore, the procedure towards maintenance incorporated in the CrPC aims to give speedy justice to destitute individuals.

The law of limitation does not apply in maintenance proceedings since the right to maintenance is a continuing right. Therefore, you are entitled to claim alimony as well as its enhancement at any time.

If you can prove the changes in the circumstances of the parties, the court will not refuse the application under Section 127 of the CrPC. In the case of Padmja Sharma v. Ratan Lal Sharma, (2000) 4 SCC 266, the Supreme Court held that “the concept behind maintenance is to protect the wife from destitution.” Further, the right to maintenance includes provisions for food, clothing, residence, education, medical attendance, and treatment.

In Bhagwan vs Kamala Devi, AIR 1975 SC 83, the Hon’ble Apex Court observed that the expression “unable to maintain herself” does not mean that the wife must be absolutely destitute. When the wife is living under undignified conditions, she can claim maintenance.

Therefore, you can file an application under Section 127 of the CrPC and seek an enhanced amount of alimony from the date of filing.

Can I approach the court for the enhancement in amount of maintenance?

Question: Can I approach the court for the enhancement in amount of maintenance? My husband left me and my son he is working in central govt. we are officially married till now he provide maintenance only 8000p.m I am just a house wife and everything price is high so I cannot survive with this amount school, basic needs etc. Can you suggest me in this matter?

Asked from: Meghalaya

If you have been granted maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), you can approach the court under Section 127 to seek an enhancement in the amount of maintenance.

In your case, the circumstances have changed, and it has become difficult to maintain your family with the current amount of eight thousand rupees. Additionally, your husband’s salary has increased, and therefore, the amount of maintenance should also be increased proportionately.

You should file an application for the enhancement of maintenance, and the court will make an appropriate order based on the evidence presented.

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow

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