Legal Advice

Section 125 crpc – Right to Maintenance

Question: My husband is an engineer, and he is very short-tempered. He used to torture me on every silly mistake. Due to his torture, I have decided to live separate with my two daughters. I am a post-graduate in History and working as a teacher in a private school. My father is a retired government officer, so he has no sufficient means to take care of us. I have filed a complaint about maintenance section 125, but the lawyer of my husband took a plea that I’m a teacher so I have sufficient means. Therefore, no need for maintenance from the husband. The case is pending, is there any case law in my favour?


The wife, children, and parents can seek maintenance under Section 125 of the code of criminal procedure (CrPC). A husband cannot neglect his wife if he is financially sound.

The court considers the actual necessity of the wife while granting maintenance. You are a school teacher. But your earning is not sufficient for livelihood. In this situation, you can invoke section 125 for a monthly allowance from your husband.

A wife can receive financial support from her husband, although she has some earning. Your husband has substantial earning. He must provide you with a quality living standard as other women are getting in his family. The court always considers the actual status of woman in the husband’s family.

If the wife is earning

Maintenance is not merely financial support. It is a sense of honour for a wife. In this context, she can compare with the other woman of her husband’s family. The living standard directly connected with the earning of the husband.

Your husband has substantial earning. He cannot refuse to give monetary support because of your independent income. Your earning does not pose any hurdle to receive alimony from her husband.

In Shailja v. Khobbanna, (2018) 12 SCC 199the Supreme Court held that an earning wife is entitled to receive maintenance from her husband.

In Sunita Kachwaha vs Anil Kachwaha AIR 2008the wife was a working lady. The Supreme Court believed that this fact is not sufficient to hold that she is in a position to maintain herself.

Your earing may reduce the amount of monthly allowance because you can maintain yourself to some extent. Protection of wife from starvation is a paramount duty of the husband. The wife has a right to live a quality life; however, she has been living separately. Your husband cannot escape from this duty merely that you have some earning.

Section 125 crpc

This section provides speedy justice to the wife, children, and parents. If they are living under vagrancy or destitution, they can invoke section 125.

When the competent husband neglects or refuses to support his wife, then the wife has the right to claim maintenance under this section.

In the course of getting maintenance under section 125 crpc, you have to prove that:

  • You are unable to maintain herself.
  • Your husband has sufficient means to maintain.
  • Husband neglects or refuses to maintain.

When the wife living separately

You said that you are living independently from the husband. So you have to prove that there is sufficient reason for separate living; otherwise, the court will not award maintenance.

Relation of husband and wife is very pious. Law expects that wife should live with her husband and perform her marital obligation. When a wife has sufficient reason to live separately, she is also entitled to get maintenance.

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow