Maintenance flows from the concept of marriage. The question of maintenance is not dependent upon the divorce proceedings. Even before the case of divorce is filed, Indian Law provides the right to claim maintenance through the medium of the Court.
If we look at the entire gamut of Indian matrimonial law, we will find that the provisions for maintenance are available in following statues in case of Hindu Marriage:
- Section 125 Criminal Procedure Code( Cr.P.C.)
- Section 20 of Protection of women from Domestic Violence
- Section 18 of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act
- Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act
- Section 25 of Hindu Marriage Act
A general conjoint reading of the aforesaid provision makes it amply clear that the objective of law is to providemaintenance to the Spouse who does not have sufficient means to maintain himself/herself by the one who has capacity and means to provide maintenance. The object is salutary and the scheme appreciating.
A cursory look at the past practices and belief is a clear cut indication of the fact that it is the man who has been bestowed with the power, capacity and capability to look after the family. Womanhood is expected to take care of the domestic chores while men were held responsible for all financial support to the family.
Law is expected to change with time. So, when women starting assuming proactive roles in the society, then maintenance law in India took care of this fact and brought the working men and women in the same pedestal. In number of cases, it was held that Husband is entitled to maintenance if he does not have sufficient means and the wife is working.