From bare perusal of Section 125(3) Crpc , it becomes clear a person against whom an order under section 125(3) Crpc was made does not become liable to imprisonment on passing of an order of
maintenance, his liability to suffer imprisonment only starts if he fails to respond to a
Warrant issued under section 125(3) of the Code for payment of maintenance. A
Warrant has to be issued u/s 125(3) of the code for payment of maintenance.
A Warrant has to be issued u/ s 125(3) Crpc for payment of maintenance, when an application is made by the person who has been held entitled to maintenance u/s 125 of the code. When such a
Warrant is issued for making a payment of maintenance, it has to be lived as the amount due in the manner provided for levying fines and if this
warrant was not responded by making the payment, then the Magistrate can order imprisonment and the imprisonment in no case can exceed one month.
Therefore, it is immaterial whether there arrears of 12 months or of any any other duration. The material question was whether a
Warrant u/s 125(3) of the code ,there can only be one imprisonment and the maximum imprisonment would be one month.
So, in case of a person chooses to file an application u/s 125(3) Crpc, on every successive months on failure to get
maintenance, she may get successive orders, of imprisonment if the person against whom the
Warrant was issued fails to make the payment. But if a person chooses to make an application after several months, then again she will be able to get an order of imprisonment on failure to make the payment which be a maximum imprisonment of one month.
Shahada Khatoon vs Amjad Ali, 1999 SCC, ( Cri) 1029