Liability to Pay Maintenance under Section 125 CrPC is Continuing in nature: Allahabad HC

In a recent case, the Allahabad High Court has held that liability of a man to maintain his parents, children and wife u/s 125 is of Continuing Nature and the Magistrate was correct to issue a warrant u/s 125(3) in case of default.

The Bench further observed that liability to pay maintenance u/s 125 CrPC, is continuing liability. In the case of default, the Magistrate can pass an order u/s 125(1) for maintenance payment and use its power u/s 125(3).

As per Section 125(3), a magistrate can issue a warrant or sentence a person who without sufficient cause, did not comply with the order to pay maintenance.

The procedure for enforcement of the order passed u/s 125 Cr.P.C. concerning maintenance, is provided for under subsection 3of section 125(3) indicates that if a person who was ordered to pay a monthly allowance for maintenance u/s125(1), fails without sufficient cause then the Magistrate has the power to sentence, fine or issue warrant against such persons.

Hon’ble Court further explained that maintenance proceedings u/s 125 CrPC were Summary in nature, and the purpose of the proceedings was to provide immediate relief to applicants.


The Bench observed that the order under challenge was passed by Magistrate u/s 125 IPC because the petitioner defaulted on maintenance payments to his wife. The Court further observed that liability to pay maintenance u/s 125 CrPC is a continuing liability; accordingly, if a person defaults, the Magistrate can pass order u/s 125(3).

The High Court placed reliance on Pongadi & Ors vs Thangavel, where the Court held that Section 125(3) is a mode of enforcement and it also lays down the procedure for recovery of maintenance by way of fine.

While referring to the case at hand, because the petitioner claimed he had made payment of arrears of maintenance and the fact that he has also filed a recall application, then it’s open for him to approach the subordinate Court.

Case Details:

Title: Alakram vs the State of UPUP and Another

Case No.:APPLICATION U/S 482 No. ­ 19600 of 2020

Date of Order: 08.01.2021

Coram: Hon’ble Justice Yogendra Kumar Srivastava

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