Allahabad High Court: Section 125, Cr.P.C

    Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code was enacted to provide the remedy to the neglected wives to obtain maintenance. The Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in revision appeal held that the said Section is enacted to provide a summary remedy for providing maintenance to a wife, children, and parents. It does not determine the rights and obligations of the parties.
    If there is prima facie material on record to suggest that the parties have married or are having a relationship in the nature of marriage, the court can presume in favour of the woman claiming maintenance. Thus, if other requirements are fulfilled, the validity of the marriage will not be a ground for refusal of maintenance.
    The Hon’ble Court also held that under revision petition the questions whether the applicant is a married wife, the children are legitimate/illegitimate, being pre-eminently questions of fact, cannot be reopened and the revisional court cannot substitute its views if the finding is in favour of the marriage and patronage of a child. But where the finding is a negative one, then it would entertain the revision, re-evaluate the evidence and conclude whether the findings or conclusions reached by the Magistrate are legally sustainable or not, as finding not in favour will have evil consequences on the life of the child and the woman especially for those who are not able to maintain themselves financially.
    Accordingly, proceedings under Section 125 Cr.P.C. are summary proceedings, and the standard of proof of marriage in such sis not as strict as it is required in a trial for an offence under Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code.