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Analysis On Section 125 Of Crpc

Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) is a statutory provision. It is a part of the Indian criminal law system and is codified in the CRPC, which is a statutory law governing the procedure for criminal trials in India. Section 125 specifically deals with the procedure for obtaining maintenance orders for wives, children, and parents who are unable to maintain themselves.

Statutory Provision: Section 125 CRPC is part of the Indian legal code, specifically the CRPC, and it outlines the legal rights and obligations of individuals regarding maintenance claims. It establishes the criteria and procedures for claiming and awarding maintenance.

Procedural Aspects: While Section 125 CRPC primarily focuses on the substantive rights and entitlements related to maintenance, the procedural aspects of how to file a maintenance claim, the jurisdiction of the court, the process of evidence, and enforcement are typically governed by other sections within the CRPC and other related laws. These procedural aspects ensure that the substantive rights established in Section 125 can be effectively exercised.

In summary, Section 125 CRPC is a statutory provision that establishes the fundamental principles and rights related to maintenance claims, while the procedural details for implementing these rights are typically found in other sections of the CRPC and related laws. Section 125 CRPC is a statutory provision that outlines the legal procedure for claiming and obtaining maintenance from a person who is legally obligated to provide it. It is not a procedural law itself but rather a part of the statutory framework governing legal procedures in criminal matters in India.

Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) in India deals with the maintenance of wives, children, and parents. It is a legal provision that allows certain categories of individuals to claim financial support from their spouses or children, as the case may be, in the event they are unable to maintain themselves.

Here's an overview of maintenance under Section 125 CRPC:

Who can claim maintenance?

Wife: A wife who is unable to maintain herself can claim maintenance from her husband. The wife is entitled to maintenance if she is unable to support herself. She might be any age, minor or major. The word "wife" refers to a woman who has been divorced or sought divorce from her spouse and has not remarried [Explanation (b) to Section 125 (a)].

According to the Supreme Court, a divorced Muslim wife whose family are unable to support her as required by personal law can immediately petition to the State Waqf Board for maintenance (Secretary, Tamil nadu Waqf Board vs. Saiyad Fatima Nachi (1996)]. Wife denotes a legally married woman for the purposes of Section 125 (Savita ramma vs. Rama narashimhaiah (1963)).

Children: Children, whether legitimate or illegitimate, who are unable to maintain themselves and are below a certain age or mentally/physically disabled can claim maintenance from their parents.
  1. A minor kid who is unable to support himself or herself is entitled to maintenance. It makes no difference whether the kid is legitimate or illegitimate, married or unmarried [Sec. 125(1)(b)]. The term 'minor' refers to a person who is judged not to have acquired his majority under the terms of the Indian Majority Act of 1875 (Explanation (a) to Section 125 (1)). The A.P. High Court declared that a Muslim minor girl would be entitled to maintenance from her father even after the implementation of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1985.The kid might be either male or female.

    A minor married girl may be entitled to support from either her husband or her father (or both), if the other essential circumstances are met. If the spouse of a minor married female child does not have adequate resources, the father of such female child must provide provision for her support until she reaches the age of majority. [Provision to Section 125 (1)]
  2. Even after reaching the age of majority, a legitimate or illegitimate child is entitled to maintenance if it is unable to support itself due to a physical or mental abnormality or damage. A married daughter, on the other hand, is not entitled to maintenance under Section 125 if she has reached the age of majority. In such instances, it is the husband's obligation to support her, not the father's.

Parents: Parents who are unable to maintain themselves can claim maintenance from their children. A father or mother who is unable to support himself or herself is entitled to maintenance from his or her son. Section 125(1) does not directly address the duty of a daughter to support the parents. The Supreme Court ruled that the daughter, whether married or single, is likewise obligated to support her parents.

The Court in Vijay Manohar vs. Kashiram Rajaram Sawal (1987) said that, apart from the law, Indian society imposes a social obligation on children to support their parents, which also extends to daughters. The provision does not specify if 'father or mother' includes 'adoptive father' or 'adoptive mother' or 'stepfather' or 'stepmother'.

According to Section 3(20) of the General Clauses Act of 1897, the term "father" includes a "adoptive father," even if the term "mother" has not been defined in the same way. It has long been assumed that the term "mother" includes "adoptive mother."

Jurisdiction: You can file a maintenance petition under Section 125 CRPC in the court within whose local jurisdiction the person from whom maintenance is claimed resides or where they last resided together.

Quantum of Maintenance: The court will determine the amount of maintenance based on various factors like the income and financial capacity of the person liable to pay, the needs of the claimant, and other relevant circumstances. The objective is to ensure that the claimant gets a reasonable and fair amount for their maintenance.

Duration: Maintenance can be awarded on a monthly basis, and the court can specify a duration for which it should be paid. It can be a temporary or permanent arrangement, depending on the circumstances.

Enforcement: If the person ordered to pay maintenance does not comply with the court's order, the person seeking maintenance can file an application for the enforcement of the order. The defaulter may face legal consequences for non-compliance.

Revision and Appeal: Both parties have the right to appeal against the maintenance order if they are dissatisfied with it. They can also seek revision of the order if there are valid grounds for doing so.

Criminal Offense: Failure to comply with a maintenance order can result in legal consequences, including imprisonment.

It's important to consult with a qualified legal professional to understand the specific details and procedures related to maintenance under Section 125 CRPC, as the application of the law can vary based on individual circumstances and regional legal practices. Legal aid or assistance may also be available for those who cannot afford to hire a lawyer for their case.

The perception of whether Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) is biased or not can vary widely depending on one's perspective and the specific circumstances of a case. Section 125 CRPC is intended to address issues related to the maintenance of spouses, children, and parents who are unable to maintain themselves. It is designed to provide financial support to those who may be in need.

Critics of Section 125 CRPC may argue that it can be biased in certain situations, such as:
Gender Bias: Some critics argue that the provision can be biased against husbands, as it is often used by wives to claim maintenance in matrimonial disputes. They contend that the law does not provide similar remedies for husbands in cases where they may be entitled to maintenance.

Abuse and Misuse: There have been instances where Section 125 CRPC has been misused to file false or frivolous claims, leading to concerns about its misuse as a tool for harassment.

Lack of Clarity: Critics may argue that the law lacks clarity in defining the criteria for determining the quantum of maintenance, making it open to interpretation and potentially leading to inconsistent outcomes.

Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) is a statutory provision rather than a procedural one. In legal systems, statutes or statutory provisions are laws passed by legislatures that lay down substantive legal rights, obligations, and procedures to be followed in various legal matters. Section 125 of the CRPC is a substantive provision that deals with the right to claim maintenance by certain categories of individuals from their spouses, children, or parents.

However, it's important to note that Section 125 CRPC is a gender-neutral provision, which means it can be used by either spouses (husband or wife) to claim maintenance if they meet the criteria laid out in the law. Moreover, the primary objective of the provision is to ensure that individuals who are genuinely in need of financial support receive it, regardless of their gender.

The interpretation and application of Section 125 CRPC can vary depending on the facts and circumstances of each case and the legal arguments presented. Courts are responsible for ensuring that the law is applied fairly and impartially.

If you believe that you are facing bias or injustice in the application of Section 125 CRPC, it is essential to consult with a qualified legal professional who can assess your specific situation, provide legal advice, and represent your interests in court if necessary. Legal professionals can help ensure that the law is applied correctly and fairly in your case.

Written By:
  1. Akarshita Singh, BBA LL.B (HONS.), IX Sem 5th Year Amity Law School, Lucknow, U.P
  2. Kritika Shukla, BBA LL.B (HONS.), IX Sem 5th Year Amity Law School, Lucknow, U.P

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