The article “Maintenance Laws For Wives, Children And Parents In India” is written by Abhay Pratap Singh a 3rd Year Student at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow
I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achievedDR. B. R. AMBEDKAR
This research paper delves into the intricate web of maintenance laws in India, focusing on their application to wives, children, and parents. The paper offers a comprehensive examination of the legal provisions, judicial interpretations, and socio-cultural implications surrounding maintenance obligations in the Indian context.
The study embarks on a systematic analysis of key legislative frameworks governing maintenance, including the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, and the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. By dissecting the nuances of these statutes, the paper unravels the criteria, procedures, and limitations that dictate the award of maintenance to different categories of dependents.
Through an exploration of landmark judicial decisions, the paper elucidates the evolving jurisprudence that shapes the contours of maintenance laws. It critically evaluates the role of the judiciary in clarifying ambiguities, setting precedents, and aligning legal principles with societal transformations. Moreover, the paper addresses the challenges inherent in the enforcement of maintenance orders, including issues of procedural delays and equitable distribution of financial support.
Against the backdrop of shifting gender roles and familial dynamics, the study also highlights the societal implications of maintenance laws. It considers the intersection of legal mandates with broader discussions on gender equality, economic autonomy, and familial responsibilities.
This research paper provides a comprehensive analysis of maintenance laws for wives, children, and parents in India. By amalgamating legal analysis with socio-cultural insights, it offers a holistic understanding of the complexities and implications of these laws. The paper contributes to the discourse on legal reform, social justice, and familial responsibilities in contemporary India.
Keywords: Maintenance, India, Wife, Children, Parents, Gender Equality, legal framework, Family Law, Social Justice.
The fundamental meaning of Maintenance under Family law is support or subsistence. To live a life of integrity food, clothing, and shelter are some of the basic requirements, without which one cannot survive. In a patriarchal society like India, a man is considered the family’s sole earner and hence he is duty-bound to provide basic assistance or aid to his wife, children, and parents, this basic assistance is called Maintenance. Maintenance is one of a principle of social justice. In terms of law, maintenance is a basic amount that is paid by the husband to his wife, children, and parents, who cannot maintain themselves and are dependent on him. In India, if we focus on the condition specifically of women, their position hasn’t been good for ages. And there was an exclusion of women from outside work generally. A woman is dependent on her father after her birth and on her husband after marriage, there is a continuous dependency that has been a concluding factor for focusing on the maintenance of wives in India.
After the commencement of the constitution, when India became a Republic, there was an attempt to codify personal laws. However, the legislative interference was more into the Hindu Law and was effected in the Hindu Law of Succession, Marriage, Guardianship, Maintenance, and Adoption. One of the remarkable developments in the maintenance law is the application of secular law i.e., Sec. 125 CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code, 1973). This applies uniformly and covers all the personal laws existing in India like an umbrella, consequently, expanding the scope of maintenance law in India to wives and even to children and parents.
In the past, women were usually given certain tasks in the family, like taking care of others and looking after the children, while men were expected to earn money and make important decisions. The role of women has always been given less importance in the Indian patriarchal society. But now in recent decades, there have been works in the direction of women’s welfare and maintenance laws with respect to wives can be seen as an example of promoting equality and dignity of women. Since women have been out of workplaces for a very long time and I think maintenance serves the purpose of bridging the economic disparities between the couple as women are employed mostly in work which is not paid. After Divorce, the survival of women becomes difficult as they may find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to economic independence. Also, society starts passing judgments on her character, and in a country like India it has always been very easy to blame anything which goes wrong on the character of a particular person and they also might have to take care of children when the question of custody arises after divorce and hence is another important factor why maintenance laws are framed for women. Cultural, social, and individual factors greatly influence the position of women within the family and after divorce. Progress has been made toward greater gender equality, but challenges and inequalities still persist in different contexts.
Maintenance to parents given is important because it recognizes the hard work and obstacles, they faced in raising a child, so it acts as an acknowledgment and also helps them feel secure and independent by providing the financial support they need to meet their daily needs and access healthcare when they don’t have basic financial assistance. It is a way for children to honor and repay the love, care, and sacrifices their parents have made throughout their lives.
The condition of women in India has improved significantly after the implementation of maintenance laws. The laws give women access to legal remedies. If they are not receiving the financial support they are entitled to, they can seek help through the legal system. This ensures that their rights are protected and they have a fair chance to claim the support they need.
Furthermore, these laws have played a crucial role in transforming societal attitudes. They have accomplished this by acknowledging women’s rights concerning financial matters and taking steps to address gender inequalities. As a result, traditional gender norms have been questioned and the push for equality has been fostered within our society.
However, there are still challenges to overcome. Sometimes, legal processes can be slow, and social stigma may make it difficult for women to assert their rights. Enforcement of the laws can also be a concern. It is important to continue raising awareness, improving implementation, and addressing issues in the system.
2) Maintenance To Wives
A) Provisions of Maintenance under Hindu Law
Section 18 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, states –
- Subject to the provisions of this section, a Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained by her husband during her lifetime.
- A Hindu wife shall be entitled to live separately from her husband without forfeiting her claim to maintenance—
(a) if he is guilty of desertion, that is to say, of abandoning her without reasonable cause and without her consent or against her wish, or wilfully neglecting her;
(b) if he has treated her with such cruelty as to cause a reasonable apprehension in her mind that it will be harmful or injurious to live with her husband;
(c) if he is suffering from a virulent form of leprosy;
(d) if he has any other wife living;
(e) if he keeps a concubine in the same house in which his wife is living or habitually resides with a concubine elsewhere;
(f) if he has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion;
(g) if there is any other cause justifying living separately.
- A Hindu wife shall not be entitled to separate residence and maintenance from her husband if she is unchaste or ceases to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion.
Ajay Saxena V. Rachna Saxena is a landmark case where the proper definition of Maintenance was established, that it comprises providing food, clothing, residence, education, medical attendance, and treatment.
In Vihalal v Minaben, the Gujarat High Court included a divorced wife too in the word ‘wife’ in this section as the word ‘wife’ in section 25 of the Hindu marriage act, 1955 infers a divorced wife, and both the provisions deal with maintenance.
Section 18 sub-section (2) of HAMA, 1956 governs the provisions by virtue of which a wife has a right to live separately from her husband without being denied the maintenance if he is found guilty of certain grounds mentioned above.
A) Navigating the Boundaries: Demystifying Hindu Wife’s Rights to Maintenance
i) Maintenance to legally Wedded Wife
Knowing that only a legally wedded Hindu wife is entitled to maintenance is important. Polygamy i.e. having two spouses at the same time is prohibited under Hindu Marriage Act,1955, and also punishable under section 494 IPC. Having a living wife already and marrying another woman, the law will consider only the first wife to be a legally wedded wife and is entitled to claim maintenance, the second marriage will be considered void.
The same has been said in the case of Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav v. Anantrao Shivram Adhav,In this case, the appellant married the first respondent under Hindu Law in 1974, unaware that the respondent was already married. After a week of enduring ill-treatment, she left and filed for maintenance in 1976. The Trial Court and the High Court dismissed her application, leading to her appeal to the Supreme Court. And when the application was heard in Supreme Court, the court declared that a marriage between a Hindu woman and a man with a legal spouse is null and void under the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA). As a result, the woman is not eligible to claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The court emphasized that violating the condition of having no living spouse at the time of marriage, as stated in Section 5(1)(i) of the HMA, renders the marriage void from its inception. The term “divorcee” in Section 125 of the CrPC refers to a legally recognized marriage. Therefore, regardless of her knowledge of the man’s previous marriage, the woman’s plea for maintenance was dismissed.
ii) Maintenance to Second Wife
The recent development that happened after the judgment of Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav v. Anantrao Shivram Adhav after realizing the fact that the woman is at a disadvantage if she is not aware of the earlier marriage of his husband or husband actively conceals the fact of him already being married, having a living wife and remarrying. Will the second wife be entitled to maintenance? This was answered in the case of Badshah v. Urmila Badshah Godse, the court said that in a situation where the marriage between the parties has been proved. The Court ruled that despite the petitioner being married to someone else, he deceived the respondent by concealing this fact. In such a situation, he cannot refuse maintenance to the respondent by exploiting his deceitful actions.
iii) Maintenance to Wife if Husband guilty of Desertion
If the husband is found guilty of desertion, the wife is not only entitled to claim maintenance but also entitled to live separately. The judges and the courts didn’t give a very comprehensive definition of desertion but the courts trying matrimonial disputes were appealed by this definition i.e. desertion means withdrawal from a state of things and not from a place. Clause (a) of sub-section 2 of section 18 of HAMA provides the meaning of desertion as the abandonment of a wife by her husband without any reasonable cause or against her will or wilful neglect of the wife by the husband. And also what amounts to desertion is decided upon the given facts and circumstances for the case. In the case of Smt. Neelam Singh v. Vijai Narain Singh , which is a landmark judgment on the issue of maintenance to a wife when the husband has deserted her. The Supreme Court held that a wife is entitled to maintenance from her husband even if she has deserted him first, provided that she can prove that she was driven to desertion by the husband’s cruelty or other misconduct. Then in another case of Meena v. Suresh, it was held that a wife is entitled to maintenance even if she is living with her parents or other relatives, provided that she is unable to maintain herself due to the husband’s desertion.
iv) Judicial separation
The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 initially acknowledged desertion solely as a valid reason for obtaining judicial separation. Nevertheless, with the enactment of Section 13(1)(i-b) of the Act in 1976, desertion is now considered grounds for both divorce and judicial separation. Section 10 of HMA 1955 deals with the provision of judicial separation where the husband and wife are decreed by the court to cease cohabiting without dissolving the marriage and thus, cannot remarry. The idea of judicial separation is meant for the married couple to re-think their marriage and whether they can still carry forward their tie or end the marriage. To grant a decree, the Grounds (Adultery, Cruelty, desertion, etc.) of judicial separation have to be proved before the decree and still, the husband is legally bound to pay maintenance to the wife in judicial separation until divorce is granted. In the landmark case of Sanju Devi v State of Bihar & Anr, The petitioner had applied for maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The Trial Judge awarded her a monthly maintenance of Rs.4,000/-. Dissatisfied with this decision, the respondent-husband filed a revision petition in the High Court, claiming that the petitioner was not entitled to maintenance due to a decree of judicial separation and Section 125(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The Supreme Court rejected the respondent’s argument, stating that if a divorced wife can receive maintenance, then a wife who is judicially separated should also be entitled to it. The Court disagreed with the High Court’s reasoning that the petitioner must prove her inability to support herself to be eligible for maintenance. The Court set aside the High Court’s judgment and remanded the matter for fresh consideration.
v) Maintenance to Wife if she treated with Cruelty
A wife is also entitled to live separately and claim maintenance if she has been treated with cruelty by her husband. The cruelty either physical or mental as such cause a reasonable apprehension in her mind that it will be harmful to her to live with her husband. The burden of proof is on the wife that the husband is guilty of cruelty.
vi) Maintenance to Wife if Husband suffering from leprosy
A wife is entitled to live separately and claim maintenance if her husband is suffering from a lethal form of leprosy which is incurable. She is entitled to claim maintenance regardless of the fact when the disease started.
vii) Maintenance to Wife when Husband is keeping a Concubine
A wife is entitled to live separately and claim maintenance if her husband resides with a concubine in the same house in which she is living or habitually resides somewhere else. In the case of Kesarbai v Haribau, Kesarbai, a Hindu wife, sought separate residence and maintenance from her husband, Haribhau, on the grounds of desertion and his keeping a concubine named Sulochana. The trial court ruled in favor of Kesarbai, granting her maintenance and a charge against Haribhau’s properties. However, the appellate court reversed the decision, stating that Kesarbai failed to prove the grounds of desertion and that the concubine was not kept in the same house as Kesarbai. The appellate court denied Kesarbai’s claim for maintenance but increased the amount to Rs. 75/- for past and future maintenance.
In the appeal, the court clarified the provisions of Section 18(2)(e) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, which allow a Hindu wife to claim separate residence and maintenance if the husband keeps a concubine in the same house or habitually resides with a concubine elsewhere. The court emphasized the importance of upholding the institution of marriage and the rights of a wife, considering the social, moral, and economic aspects involved. It concluded that the husband’s continuous keeping of a concubine since 1958 fulfilled the requirements of Section 18(2)(e), and Kesarbai was entitled to maintenance and separate residence.
Ultimately, the court held that the husband’s conduct constituted a breach of the marriage bond, and Kesarbai should receive the relief she sought. The court emphasized a broad and fair approach to interpreting and applying the provisions of the Act to prevent injustice and protect the rights of the aggrieved party.
viii) Denial of Maintenance to Wife when she ceases to be Hindu or living in adultery
Section 18(3) of HAMA mentions and makes it clear that a wife is not entitled to separate residence and cannot claim maintenance if she ceases to be Hindu by conversion or by embracing any other faith. She also cannot claim maintenance if she is living in adultery. But it should be noted that an unchaste wife’s claim to maintenance cannot be wholly forfeited. If she offers her husband to live and he refuses to live with her, entitles her demand to claim maintenance. Mere allegations of adultery won’t disentitle her to claim maintenance. In the case of Vinod Kumar Rai v Manju Rai, the Additional District Judge decreed a wife’s suit for maintenance in her and her daughter’s favor. The husband appealed the decision. The judgment discusses Section 18 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, which recognizes the husband as the maintainer of the family. The Act allows a Hindu wife to live separately from her husband and claim maintenance under certain circumstances listed in sub-clause (2) of Section 18 The husband in this case was accused of treating the wife with cruelty by hurling charges of infidelity against her. The judgment emphasizes that the burden of proof lies with the husband to substantiate such allegations. The court finds no evidence of unchastity on the wife’s part, which would bar her entitlement to maintenance. The judgment further states that the legitimacy of the daughter is irrelevant for the purposes of the case. The court determines the quantum of maintenance based on the husband’s income and the wife’s lack of income. The husband is directed to pay Rs. 2,500/- per month as maintenance to the wife and the same amount to the daughter until her marriage, deducted from the husband’s monthly salary. The appeal is dismissed, affirming the maintenance order.
ix) Denial of Maintenance to Wife when she has no respect for Marital Tie
When a wife has no respect for her marriage or marital tie, her right to claim maintenance is forfeited. The same has been iterated in a landmark judgment of Guntamukkala Naga Venkata Kanaka Durga v Guntamukkala Eswar Sudhakar, the case involves two appeals arising from a common order passed by the Family Court in Vijayawada. The appellant, who is the wife, filed a petition seeking past and future maintenance and costs under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. The respondent, who is the husband, filed a counterclaim seeking a divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
The wife alleged that she was subjected to harassment and demands for additional dowry by the husband and his family. She also claimed that she was abused and not provided with basic necessities. She further stated that she was driven out of the matrimonial home and joined her parents because she had no means to support herself.
The husband denied the allegations and contended that the wife deserted him without any fault on their part. He claimed that she went to her parents’ house and refused to return, despite his attempts to reconcile. He argued that she had no interest in maintaining the marriage.
The court considered the evidence presented by both parties, including the testimony of witnesses. It found that the husband had established that the wife had deserted him, causing mental agony, which amounted to cruelty. The court granted the husband’s petition for divorce and dismissed the wife’s claim for maintenance.
x) Denial of Maintenance to wife when guilty of desertion
The entitlement to maintenance is exclusively granted to the wife who is willing to fulfill her marital responsibilities. If the wife abandons her husband and fails to fulfill her crucial marital duties necessary for the marriage, she does not qualify for maintenance. In the case of Krishnabai v Punamchand, an appeal by Krishnabai against a judgment and decree of the District Judge, Khandwa, under Section 10 of the Hindu Marriage Act. The respondent, Punamchand, filed a petition for judicial separation, claiming that the appellant had left their marital home and refused to return. The appellant admitted being legally married to the respondent but denied leading an immoral life or having any illicit connections. She alleged that she left the house due to an attempt by her parents-in-law to poison her. The District Judge found that there was no evidence to support the appellant’s claims and concluded that she had no valid reasons to stay away from her marital home. The judge granted the respondent’s petition for judicial separation. On appeal, the court held that the appellant’s offer to live with her husband on the condition that he live separately from his parents was unreasonable and not made in good faith. The court found that the appellant’s departure from the house amounted to desertion without reasonable cause or consent. The appeal was dismissed, affirming the district court’s decision.
xi) Denial of Maintenance to wife living separately by mutual consent
If both spouses have a mutual agreement to live separately and not claim maintenance, this can serve as a basis for denying maintenance.
In the judgment of Rohtash Singh vs Smt. Ramendri And Ors, there is a second ground on which the wife may not be entitled to Maintenance Allowance. This ground is her refusal to live with her husband without any valid reason. This condition assumes that the marital relationship between the parties still exists. If the marriage is still intact, the wife is legally and morally obligated to live with her husband and fulfill her marital duties. Without a valid reason, she cannot refuse to live with her husband. The term “sufficient reasons” has been interpreted differently by various High Courts, taking into account the specific circumstances of each case. However, we do not need to delve into that matter in the present case, as it is admitted that the marriage between the parties ended due to a divorce decree issued by the Family Court. Therefore, the existence of sufficient cause for the wife’s refusal to live with the husband is not relevant to the present case. In this situation, the only question remaining is whether a wife who has been granted a divorce decree due to desertion can claim Maintenance Allowance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr. P.C.), and to what extent can the plea of desertion be considered as a valid reason for the husband to refuse to pay her Maintenance Allowance.
xii) Denial of Maintenance to wife who is working
Section 125 Crpc aims to promote social justice by providing support to vulnerable individuals in society, such as impoverished wives, helpless children, and parents. To uphold the spirit and purpose of the legislation, a wider interpretation of the law is necessary. Courts have been progressively broadening the application of this provision to include all those who require social justice assistance.
The distinction between being “capable of earning” and “actually earning” has been clearly emphasized in the case of Shalija & Ors. v. Khobbanna, where the Supreme Court ruled that women who possess the qualifications to earn cannot be denied the right to claim maintenance. Additionally, unless there is compelling evidence, it cannot be assumed that a woman with the ability to earn is actually earning. However, this principle applies only when the wife is unable to sustain herself, as noted by the Delhi High Court, as the husband cannot be compelled to go to extreme measures to provide maintenance to a wife who is equally capable of earning.
B) Unveiling Maintenance Claims: Empowering Muslim Wives to Seek Support
According to Muslim law, the husband bears the responsibility of providing maintenance for his wife under all circumstances. In a Muslim marriage, the husband is obligated to support his wife the only exception to the husband’s obligation to maintain his wife is if the marriage is void or irregular.
The husband is obliged to provide maintenance for his wife as long as she remains loyal to him and complies with his reasonable directives. However, he is not obligated to support a wife who rejects his advances or displays disobedience, unless her refusal or disobedience is justified by the non-payment of the prompt dower or her departure from the husband’s residence due to his cruelty. 
In accordance with Muslim law, the husband is obligated to provide maintenance for his wife regardless of her earning capacity or ability to sustain herself.
In the context of Indian Muslim law, the concept of maintenance is referred to as ‘Nafqah.’ ‘Nafqah’ represents the financial support provided by a man for his family’s well-being. A Muslim woman cannot claim maintenance from her husband in the following cases if:
a) She is minor, incapable of consummation.
b) Refuse free access to the husband at all reasonable times.
c) Is disobedient.
d) Never visited his house.
e) Refuses to cohabit with him without reasonable excuse.
f) Abandon conjugal home without reasonable reasons.
g) Deserts him.
h) Elopes with another person.
A Muslim wife may recover maintenance from her husband on a special event like cruelty or second marriage etc. if they or their Guardian had an agreement. But in the marriage contract if there has been an agreement that says she will not be entitled to maintenance then it is considered void.
After a divorce, the Muslim wife has the right to receive financial support known as maintenance during the Iddat period, which is a specific period of time following the divorce. She is also entitled to maintenance for any additional time that passes after the Iddat period, provided she has received notice of the divorce. However, once the Iddat period is over, the order for maintenance is no longer enforceable.
If the wife wishes to file a lawsuit for maintenance, she can do so at her usual place of residence at the time of the divorce, as well as at the place where she receives the divorce notice. If the divorce involves Hiba-jewels, a type of gift, the lawsuit for their return can be filed where the wife resides. It’s important to note that a widow is not entitled to receive additional maintenance from her late husband’s estate, in addition to what she inherits or is granted under his will.
Divorced Muslim women unable to maintain themselves after iddat period can proceed u/s 4 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 against their relatives or wakf board for maintenance. Such a scheme provided under the said Act is also equally beneficial as one provided u/s 125 CrPC.
Maintenance under Criminal Procedure Code, 1973
The right to receive financial support for a wife as stipulated in the criminal procedure code is a separate legal entitlement and is not influenced by any personal laws. Even if a husband remarries, the wife has the option to claim maintenance under the provisions of the criminal procedure code, 1973.
In a landmark case of Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum and Others, which resolved mainly four issues:-
- Whether the “WIFE” definition includes a divorced Muslim woman?
- Whether Section 125 Crpc overrides personal law?
- Whether a Muslim husband’s obligation to provide maintenance for a divorced wife is in or not in conflict between section 125 and Muslim Personal Law?
- What is the sum payable on divorce? The meaning of Mehar or dower is not summed payable on divorce?
Mohd Ahmed Khan, who worked as a lawyer, got married to Shah Bano Begum in 1932. They had three sons and two daughters together. In 1975, when Shah Bano was 62 years old, her husband disowned her and threw her out of their marital home along with their children. In 1978, Shah Bano filed an appeal before the Judicial Magistrate of Indore because her husband had stopped providing her the promised monthly maintenance of Rs. 200. She requested an increased amount of Rs. 500 per month as maintenance. Later, in November 1978, her husband pronounced an irrevocable triple talaq as a defense to avoid paying maintenance. The magistrate, in August 1979, ordered the husband to pay a monthly sum of Rs. 25 as maintenance. Dissatisfied with this decision, Shah Bano appealed to the High Court of M.P. in July 1908, seeking to raise the maintenance amount to Rs. 179 per month. The high court granted her request and increased the maintenance to Rs. 179 per month. The husband then challenged this decision in the Supreme Court by filing a special leave petition against the high court’s ruling.
The Supreme Court ruled that Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure applies to all citizens regardless of their religion, including Muslims, without any discrimination. The court emphasized that Section 125 takes precedence over personal laws in case of any conflicts between the two. It clarified that there is no contradiction between the provisions of Section 125 and the Muslim Personal Law regarding the responsibility of a Muslim husband to provide maintenance for a divorced wife who is unable to support herself.
In this case, the Supreme Court acknowledged that according to Muslim law, the obligation of a Muslim husband towards his divorced wife is limited to the period of “Iddat.” However, the court stated that this provision does not negate the legal principle stated in Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, which requires the husband to provide maintenance to the wife beyond the Iddat period if she lacks sufficient means to support herself. The court further noted that the Muslim law provision in question was against the principles of humanity and fairness, as it left a divorced wife in a vulnerable position without means of sustenance.
The court clarified that the payment of Mehar (dower) by the husband upon divorce is not sufficient to exempt him from the obligation to pay maintenance to the wife. After a lengthy legal process, the Supreme Court ultimately concluded that a husband’s legal liability ceases if a divorced wife is capable of maintaining herself. However, if the wife is unable to support herself after the Iddat period, she is entitled to receive maintenance or alimony under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
It is important to know that under the circumstances described below in Section 127(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, the maintenance obligation towards a divorced wife is canceled, and she will not have the right to receive further maintenance.
As per Section 127(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, the maintenance provided to a divorced wife will be terminated, and she will not be eligible for further maintenance in the following scenarios:
- If she enters into a new marriage: If the divorced wife decides to remarry, her right to receive maintenance ceases.
- If she has already received the complete amount owed to her under any customary or personal law: If the divorced wife has already received the entire amount of maintenance due to her according to customary or personal laws, she will no longer be entitled to ongoing maintenance.
- If she willingly gives up her right to maintenance after the divorce: If the divorced wife voluntarily surrenders her entitlement to receive maintenance after the divorce, she will not be eligible to claim it.
Maintenance of Divorced Muslim Women
Following the Shah Bano case, where the Supreme Court granted divorced Muslim women the right to claim maintenance beyond the iddat period, a controversy arose in India. Critics argued that this case undermined the freedom of the Muslim community to govern their personal matters according to their own personal laws. In response to this, the Rajiv Gandhi Government introduced the ‘Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 to nullify the impact of the Shah Bano case.
Section 3 of the Act establishes the provision for providing maintenance to Muslim women during divorce. This provision imposes an obligation on the husband to provide “reasonable and fair provision and maintenance” within the iddat period. The terms “reasonable and fair provision and maintenance” indicate that the amount of maintenance can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case and is subject to interpretation by the judiciary. However, the Act limits the right to maintenance for Muslim women solely to the iddat period and only if she has not remarried.
Once the iddat period has ended and if the woman has not remarried, she cannot claim maintenance from her former husband. Instead, according to Section 4 of the Act, the Magistrate is empowered to order her relative, who is set to inherit her property, to provide reasonable and fair maintenance to the woman. In the absence of relatives or if the relative lack the means to pay, the Magistrate may direct the State Wakf Board to cover the required maintenance expenses for the woman.
Now, in the landmark case of Daniel Latifi v. Union of India, the constitutionality of the act was questioned. The petitioners argued that the Act was not as advantageous as Sections 125-128 of the CrPC. Additionally, they claimed that the Act unfairly treated Muslim divorced women, infringing upon their rights protected by Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution. Moreover, the Act aimed to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Shah Bano case.
The Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench upheld the interpretation that Section 3(1) of the Act, which states “reasonable and fair provision and maintenance to be made and paid to her within the iddat period by her former husband,” means that the husband is required to provide maintenance to the wife before the iddat period ends. If the husband fails to do so, the wife has the right to recover it under Section 3(3) of the Act.
However, it does not explicitly state that the obligation for reasonable and fair provision and maintenance is limited only to the iddat period and not beyond it.
The Court determined that the husband’s responsibility to support and maintain his wife continues for the remainder of the divorced wife’s life unless she remarries. The Supreme Court, in a judicious manner, delivered a fair judgment in this case by interpreting the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986. This interpretation not only prevented the Act from being declared unconstitutional but also ensured that personal law and individual rights were not compromised.
3) Maintenance Of Children
Both parents, whether living together or apart, have significant roles in raising children. It is the joint responsibility of both the mother and father to ensure their children’s well-being and provide them with essential needs for proper development. Legally, socially, and morally, both parents are obligated to support their children.
The child is the primary victim in cases of parental separation, and to protect the child from the actions of their parents, various provisions have been introduced under Hindu law regarding the child’s maintenance rights. Even if one parent is granted custody of the child, the other parent remains legally obligated to provide support. Both parents have equal responsibility to financially support their children until they reach adulthood.
The right to receive maintenance from both parents applies to a minor child in the following situations. Additionally, an unmarried daughter has the right to maintenance even after reaching the age of majority (i.e., 18 years old):
- When the child resides with both parents.
- When one parent has custody of the child following their separation.
- When the child is born out of a void marriage.
- When the child is born from a live-in relationship.
Maintenance of Children under Hindu Law
Section 26 of HMA, 1955 allows for the issuance of temporary orders regarding the custody, maintenance, and education of a minor child, taking into consideration their preferences whenever feasible.
In the case of D.Thimmappa v. R. Nagaveni,it was determined that according to section 26 of the Hindu Marriage Act, the court has the authority to provide maintenance not only for the wife but also for the children. The purpose of section 26 is to ensure the well-being of minor children when granting a decree under the Hindu Marriage Act.
Section 20 of HAMA, provides for the Maintenance of children and aged parents, under this section a Hindu male or female is bound, during his or her lifetime, to maintain-
- His or her legitimate, or illegitimate children (minor),
- An unmarried daughter,
- His or her aged, or infirm parents.
And then comes the secular law i.e Section 125 Crpc, under this section maintenance, can be claimed by-
- Wife, when she is unable to maintain herself,
- Legitimate or illegitimate minor child, whether married or not, who is unable to maintain herself or himself,
- Father or mother who is unable to maintain himself or herself.
In the case of Abhilasha v. Prakash, the mother of the appellant, on behalf of herself, her two sons, and the appellant (daughter), filed a maintenance application under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) against her husband, seeking maintenance for herself and her three children. The application was initially dismissed by the learned judiciarl magistrate of first class, except for the appellant, who was granted maintenance until she reached the age of majority. All four applicants filed a criminal revision before the Sessions Judge, which was dismissed by the additional Sessions judge with a minor modification to extend the maintenance period for the appellant until April 26, 2005, instead of February 7, 2005 (the date when she attained majority). Dissatisfied with the Sessions judge’s order as well as the magistrate’s decision, all the applicants filed an application under section 482 of the Cr.P.C. before the high court, which was subsequently dismissed. In response to the high court’s order, the appellant (Abhilasha), who is the respondent’s daughter, filed an appeal.
After hearing both sides and examining the witnesses, the Supreme Court reached a conclusion regarding the first issue. It determined that an unmarried daughter has an absolute right under section 20 to claim maintenance from her father if she is unable to support herself. This right, granted under personal law, can be enforced by the daughter against her father. Even if the daughter has reached the age of majority, she is still entitled to maintenance from her father until she gets married, as recognized by section 20(3) as a statutory right. The unmarried daughter can enforce this right in accordance with the law.
Regarding the second issue, the court held that the judicial magistrate, while deciding proceedings under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), does not have the jurisdiction to exercise authority under section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. The court rejected the appellant’s argument that the court should have granted maintenance despite her reaching the age of majority. The court found no flaw in the orders of the judicial magistrate of first class and the additional magistrate in denying maintenance to the appellant, who has become a legal adult. However, the court did accept the submission of the appellant’s counsel, acknowledging the legal proposition that an unmarried Hindu daughter can claim maintenance from her father until she gets married, relying on section 20(3) of the 1956 Act, provided she can demonstrate that she is unable to support herself.
The court’s decision, in this case, is justified because the application filed by the appellant’s counsel under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), which provides maintenance for a daughter until she reaches adulthood and even after if she is mentally or physically incapable of supporting herself, is appropriate. Section 20(3) does not have overriding authority over section 125, as both provisions coexist. The decision clarifies that the individual can file a maintenance suit in the appropriate court based on their requirements and convenience.
Now in the landmark case of Rajneesh v. Neha, the wife submitted an application for interim maintenance in a petition under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Family Court granted interim maintenance to the wife and their son. In response, the husband challenged the Family Court’s decision by filing a Writ Petition before the Bombay High Court. However, the High Court dismissed the Writ Petition and upheld the judgment of the Family Court. Dissatisfied with the High Court’s ruling, the husband filed a Criminal Appeal in the Honorable Supreme Court to challenge the order of the Bombay High Court. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Family Court and instructed the husband to pay the entire outstanding amount of maintenance within a period of 12 weeks from the date of the Supreme Court’s judgment.
In this case, the Supreme Court expressed concern regarding the existence of multiple enactments that provide separate remedies with specific objectives. Despite timeframes being set for the disposal of interim applications under various statutes, it has been observed that these applications are often not resolved within the specified timeframes. To address the various issues that arise in applications for granting maintenance or interim maintenance, the court emphasized the need to establish guidelines that promote uniformity and consistency in decision-making.
The court reiterated that a party is not barred from approaching the court under one or more enactments, as each act offers distinct and independent relief. However, it also acknowledged that the simultaneous application of these acts could result in multiple proceedings and conflicting orders, leading to overlapping jurisdiction. Therefore, the court emphasized the importance of streamlining this process to prevent the respondent or husband from being obligated to comply with successive maintenance orders issued under different enactments.
In order to address the issue of conflicting orders and overlapping jurisdiction, the Supreme Court issued the following directions to ensure consistency in the practices followed by Family Courts, District Courts, and Magistrate Courts across the country:
- In cases where a party makes successive claims for maintenance under different statutes, the court will consider adjusting or offsetting the amount awarded in previous proceedings when determining whether any further amount should be awarded in the subsequent proceeding.
- It is now mandatory for the applicant to disclose any previous proceedings and the orders issued in those proceedings during the subsequent proceeding.
- If the order passed in the previous proceeding requires modification or variation, such changes must be made within the same proceeding.
- These directions aim to streamline the process, prevent conflicting orders, and ensure uniformity in the handling of maintenance claims in different proceedings.
To determine the amount of maintenance to be paid to an applicant, the Court will consider the following factors:
- The social and legal status of the parties involved.
- The reasonable financial needs of the wife and dependent children.
- The age and employment status of both parties.
- The right to reside in a particular place.
- Any serious disability or poor health affecting either party.
- The educational and professional qualifications of the applicant.
- Whether the applicant has any independent source of income.
- Whether the income is sufficient to maintain the same standard of living as experienced in the matrimonial home.
- Whether the applicant was employed before marriage or during the marriage.
- Whether the wife had to sacrifice employment opportunities to take care of the family, children, and other adult members.
- The reasonable costs of litigation for a non-working wife.
The Supreme Court clarified that maintenance will be granted in all cases starting from the date when the application for maintenance is filed.
To enforce or execute maintenance orders, it was instructed that such orders or decrees can be enforced using the following provisions:
- Section 28A of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1956.
- Section 20(6) of the Domestic Violence Act.
- Section 128 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), as applicable.
The maintenance order can be enforced as a money decree of a civil court in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), specifically Sections 51, 55, 58, 60, and Order XXI.
Maintenance of Children under Muslim Law
According to Muslim law, the father is legally obligated to support specific individuals and provide maintenance to them. The father’s duty includes:
- Providing maintenance to his son until he reaches adolescence.
- Supporting his unmarried daughter.
- Assisting his married daughter if her husband is unable to maintain her.
- Supporting his adult son if he is disabled, mentally ill, or incapable of self-maintenance.
Under Muslim law, a father is not responsible for the maintenance of his children if they refuse to live with him without any valid reason. It is important to note that a daughter does not have an unrestricted right to claim maintenance from her father and can only do so under specific circumstances.
The responsibility of providing maintenance for children by a mother varies among different schools of Muslim law. In accordance with Hanafi Law, if the father is unable to financially support his children, the obligation to maintain them is transferred to the mother.
In the scenario where a child resides with their mother, the mother has the right to seek maintenance from the father until her son reaches adolescence and her daughter is legally married. This principle was established in the case of Akhtari Begum v. Abdul Rashid, where a four-year-old child was living with their mother. The court held the father responsible for providing financial support for the child’s maintenance.
As per Section 3(1)(b) of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, a Muslim woman has the right to claim a reasonable amount of maintenance from her husband if she has been maintaining children born to her, whether before or after divorce, for a period of two years from their birth. It is important to note that this right of the woman is independent of the children’s own right to claim maintenance. Regardless of whether the children were born before or after the divorce, the former wife can legally compel her ex-husband to provide maintenance for the children. This right of the divorced wife (mother) is separate from the right of the children to seek maintenance from their father.
In the case of Hazi Farzand Ali vs Mst. Noorjahan,the petition challenges the order of the Munsif and Judicial Magistrate, Bhilwara, which awarded maintenance to three children of Mst. Noor Jahan. Mst. Noor Jahan filed an application under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) seeking maintenance for herself and her three minor children from her husband. The Magistrate granted maintenance of Rs. 300 per month for the children based on the husband’s own statements.
The petitioner argued that the right of children to claim maintenance is dependent on the mother’s right and that the mother has no right to seek maintenance under Section 125. However, the court rejected this argument, stating that Section 125(1) of the Cr.P.C. provides independent rights to children to apply for maintenance. The conjunction ‘or’ used in the section indicates the separate rights of the wife, children, and parents to claim maintenance. The court emphasized that the children’s right to maintenance is independent of the mother’s right.
The court also clarified that Section 7 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 does not apply to applications made on behalf of minor children who are unable to maintain themselves. The court further explained that Section 4 of the Act does not address children claiming maintenance. The court held that the Act aims to protect the rights of divorced Muslim women and does not contain provisions regarding maintenance for children.
The petitioner’s argument that the application did not include a prayer for maintenance for the children was dismissed by the court, as the application was jointly filed by the mother on behalf of herself and her minor children, explicitly seeking maintenance for all.
The court dismissed the petition and directed the Magistrate to expedite the decision on the matter within two months.
Maintenance of Illegitimate Children
In the case of Sukha v. Ninni (1965), the matter of supporting an illegitimate child was deliberated upon. The circumstances of the case were as follows: Ninni gave birth to a girl named Jamila. Seeking maintenance for Jamila from Sukha, Ninni approached the court under section 488 (now section 125) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The Sub-divisional Magistrate ruled that Sukha should pay Rs. 10 per month to Ninni for Jamila’s upkeep. Dissatisfied with this decision, Sukha appealed to the Sessions Judge, but later withdrew his application after reaching an agreement with Ninni. According to their agreement, Sukha would pay Ninni Rs. 6 per month for Jamila’s maintenance until she married. However, Sukha failed to fulfill the agreed-upon payments. Consequently, Ninni took legal action against him, arguing that, according to Muslim Law, a father is not obligated to provide maintenance for his illegitimate child. Therefore, she contended that the Sub-divisional Magistrate’s order contravened the provisions of Muslim Law.
The court ruled that while Muslim Law does not acknowledge the maintenance of an illegitimate child, Section 488 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) safeguards the rights of such a child. Additionally, the court determined that an agreement concerning the upkeep of an illegitimate child would not undermine the provisions of Muslim Law. Therefore, the agreement was considered valid and enforceable.
4) Maintenance To Parents
Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 was established to offer a viable solution for individuals who have been neglected and wish to seek maintenance. However, in 2007, the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act was introduced. This Act specifically addresses the provision of maintenance for elderly parents and senior citizens. Parents have the option to claim maintenance under either Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, or the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. It is important to note that they cannot claim maintenance under both acts simultaneously.
Maintenance to Parents under Hindu Law
The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 imposes an obligation on the children to maintain their parents. The obligation to maintain parents is not confined to sons only, even the daughters have an equal obligation/duty to maintain their parents. It is to be kept in mind that parents who are financially unable to maintain themselves from any source, only they are entitled to seek maintenance under this act.
According to Section 20 of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 it is the obligation of children to maintain there aged infirm parents (children here includes legitimate as well as illegitimate). The term ‘children’ under Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 does not include grandson and granddaughter. The liability to maintain parents is personal and is not dependent on the possession of property (as is the case of proceedings under Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act) and this obligation ceases with the death of the person liable to maintain.
Maintenance to Parents under Muslim law
Under Islamic principles, if the children have a right to be maintained by their parents, they also have a corresponding duty to provide maintenance to their parents. Rules of Muslim Law, relating to maintenance of parents are stated as under:
- The children are bound to maintain their parents only if they are financially sound and the parents are poor. In other words, only those parents who are in need are entitled to get maintenance from their children.
- Both the son and daughter have an equal duty to maintain their parents. Their responsibility to maintain the parents is joint and equal. But if one child is poor and the other is in easy circumstances, then the liability to maintain parents lies on the child who is in easy circumstances.
- However a son, though poor and in strained circumstances, is bound to maintain his mother, only if she is poor. In other case if a son is poor but is earning something for its livelihood, he is bound to support his poor father who earns nothing.
- If the child is in a position that he/she can only support one of its parents, always the mother gets priority over father.
- If in case the children are unable to support their parents separately, they may be compelled to take their parents with them and to live together.
- Under Muslim law, son is not bound to maintain his step mother.
- Maintenance to Parents under Crpc
According to Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C), both biological and adoptive parents, whether they are mothers or fathers, have the right to seek financial support from any of their children. This provision extends to include daughters as well, meaning they can be held responsible for providing maintenance to their parents. However, in the case of a stepmother, she can claim maintenance only if she is a widow and does not have any biological or adoptive sons or daughters. Furthermore, if parents are solely dependent on their married daughter, she is also obligated to provide maintenance to them.
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Amendment Act, 2021 was introduced which is yet to pass, the amendment bill was initially presented in the Lok Sabha in December 2019, but it is still pending clearance by the Parliament. The purpose of the bill is to address the maintenance and welfare needs of parents and senior citizens, with a focus on their overall physical and mental well-being.
The text of the bill states that the purpose of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019, is to broaden the reach of the Act. This will be achieved by modifying the definitions of ‘children’, ‘parents’, ‘maintenance’, ‘welfare’, and ‘senior citizens’. The aim is to empower parents and senior citizens to live a life with dignity.
The amendment aims to broaden the definition of “parent” to encompass not only biological, adoptive, and step-parents but also father-in-law, mother-in-law, and grandparents, regardless of their age. This expansion includes individuals who may not be senior citizens themselves. The original Act considered parents as biological, adoptive, and step-parents.
Additionally, the proposed bill expands the definition of both “maintenance” and “welfare”. It specifies that “maintenance” now includes provisions such as food, clothing, housing, safety, security, medical attendance, healthcare, and treatment that are necessary for maintaining a life of dignity. In contrast, the original Act defined maintenance as the provision of food, clothing, residence, medical attendance, and treatment. The amendment bill recognizes the importance of a “life of dignity” in the concept of maintenance.
Furthermore, the proposed amendments suggest eliminating the previously set maximum limit of Rs 10,000 per month for maintenance, as stated in the original Act. The 2007 Act had imposed a restriction on the monthly maintenance relief, capping it at Rs 10,000. However, under the new amendments, the maintenance order may also include provisions for additional resources and care necessary for the upkeep, in addition to the monthly allowance. The tribunal now has the authority to consider factors such as the standard of living and the income of the parent/senior citizen or the children or relative when determining the appropriate maintenance amount.
This research article has provided a comprehensive analysis of the crucial issue of the maintenance of wives, children, and parents within the legal field. Through an in-depth examination of various legal frameworks, historical perspectives, and societal considerations, this study aimed to shed light on the complexities and challenges surrounding the provision of maintenance.
The findings of this research underscore the importance of establishing equitable and just maintenance laws that address the evolving needs of families and individuals. A key contribution of this article is the identification of the gaps and disparities in existing maintenance laws, highlighting areas that require reform and improvement to ensure fair and effective implementation.
Moreover, this research has emphasized the need for a holistic approach to maintenance, recognizing the interconnectedness of familial obligations and the impact of maintenance decisions on the well-being and stability of households. By advocating for a comprehensive analysis of factors such as financial capabilities, living standards, and individual circumstances, policymakers can create more tailored and sustainable maintenance solutions.
Additionally, this study has contributed to fostering a deeper understanding of the cultural and societal influences that often shape maintenance practices. Recognizing and respecting diverse cultural norms while still upholding fundamental human rights is essential to crafting maintenance laws that are both culturally sensitive and legally justifiable.
While the law provides a framework for maintenance, its effective implementation and enforcement can be challenging. The lack of awareness about rights and legal remedies, delays in court proceedings, and inadequate financial resources of the parties involved can hinder the process. Additionally, there have been instances where maintenance orders have not been promptly complied with, leading to further litigation and hardship for the dependents.
In conclusion, the exploration of the maintenance of wives, children, and parents in this research article not only reflects the evolution of legal norms but also paves the way for a more compassionate and equitable legal landscape in the future. It is through rigorous analysis, critical evaluation, and a commitment to social justice that we can build a legal framework that better addresses the needs and responsibilities within families, ensuring a more harmonious and just society for all.
- Sir Dinshaw Fardunji Mulla, Satyajeet A. Desai, Mulla Hindu Law (23rd edn, Lexis Nexis 2018) 1387
- Sir Dinshaw Fardunji Mulla, Mulla Principles of Mahomedan Law (20th edn, Lexis Nexis 2012) 351
- Ajay Saxena v Rachna Saxena, AIR 2007 Del 39
- Vihalal v Minaben, AIR 1995 Guj 88
- Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav v. Anantrao Shivram Adhav,1988 AIR 644
- Badshah v. Urmila Badshah Godse, (2014) 1 SCC 188
- Smt. Neelam Singh v. Vijai Narain Singh,(1994) 2 SCC 263
- Meena v. Suresh, (2002) 1 SCC 321
- Sanju Devi v State of Bihar & Anr , 2003 SCC OnLine Pat 1198
- Kesarbai v Haribau , AIR 1975 Bom 115
- Rohtash Singh vs Smt. Ramendri And Ors, 2000 (2) SCR 58
- Shalija & Ors. v. Khobbanna, AIR 2017 SC 1174
- Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum and Others, 1985 SCR (3) 844
- Daniel Latifi v. Union of India, 2001 SC SCC 740
13) D.Thimmappa v. R. Nagaveni, ILR 1976 KAR 1250
14) Abhilasha v. Prakash, 2020 SCC Online SC 7
15) Rajneesh v. Neha, (2021) 2 SCC 324
16)Akhtari Begum v. Abdul Rashid, AIR 1937 Lahore 23
17) Hazi Farzand Ali vs Mst. Noorjahan, 1988 Cr LJ 1421
1) Pragati, ‘Child Maintenance under Hindu Law’ (India Law Portal, 8 July 2020) <https://indianlawportal.co.in/child-maintenance-under-hindu-law/> accessed 30 June 2023
2) Ishad Sayed, ‘Legal Provisions Regarding Maintenance of the Parents under Muslim Law’, (Shareyouressays)<https://www.shareyouressays.com/knowledge/legal-provisions-regarding-maintenance-of-the-parents-under-muslim-law/117498> accessed 3rd July 2023
 Sir Dinshaw Fardunji Mulla, Satyajeet A. Desai, Mulla Hindu Law (23rd edn, Lexis Nexis 2018) 1387
 Ajay Saxena v Rachna Saxena, AIR 2007 Del 39
 Vihalal v Minaben, AIR 1995 Guj 88
 Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav v. Anantrao Shivram Adhav,1988 AIR 644
Badshah v. Urmila Badshah Godse, (2014) 1 SCC 188
 SUPRA note-1
 Smt. Neelam Singh v. Vijai Narain Singh,(1994) 2 SCC 263
 Meena v. Suresh, (2002) 1 SCC 321
 Sanju Devi v State of Bihar & Anr , 2003 SCC OnLine Pat 1198
 Kesarbai v Haribau , AIR 1975 Bom 115
 Vinod Kumar Rai v Manju Rai, AIR 2006 All 327
Guntamukkala Naga Venkata Kanaka Durga v Guntamukkala Eswar Sudhakar ,2012 SCC OnLine AP 326
Krishnabai v Punamchand, AIR 1967 MP 200
 Rohtash Singh vs Smt. Ramendri And Ors, 2000 (2) SCR 58
 Shalija & Ors. v. Khobbanna, AIR 2017 SC 1174
 Sir Dinshaw Fardunji Mulla, Mulla Principles of Mahomedan Law (20th edn, Lexis Nexis 2012) 351
 Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum and Others, 1985 SCR (3) 844
 SUPRA note -15
 Daniel Latifi v. Union of India, 2001 SC SCC 740
Pragati, ‘Child Maintenance under Hindu Law’ (India Law Portal, 8 July 2020) <https://indianlawportal.co.in/child-maintenance-under-hindu-law/> accessed 30 June 2023
D.Thimmappa v. R. Nagaveni, ILR 1976 KAR 1250
 Abhilasha v. Prakash, 2020 SCC Online SC 736
Rajneesh v. Neha, (2021) 2 SCC 324
Akhtari Begum v. Abdul Rashid, AIR 1937 Lahore 23
 Hazi Farzand Ali vs Mst. Noorjahan, 1988 CriLJ 1421
 Ishad Sayed, ‘Legal Provisions Regarding Maintenance of the Parents under Muslim Law’, (Shareyouressays) <https://www.shareyouressays.com/knowledge/legal-provisions-regarding-maintenance-of-the-parents-under-muslim-law/117498> accessed 3rd July 2023