Under the Hindu marriage act, 1955 the husband is equally entitled to the maintenance from the wife under section 24 (during the litigation) and section 25 (permanent maintenance).

Maintenance can be construed as the financial support provided to the person for maintaining his living expenses.


Under various laws, the provisions are provided for the maintenance of the wife. Some of those laws are as such:

  • Section 125 to 128 of the Criminal code of procedure,1955
  • Section 36 and 37 of the special marriage act,1954
  • Section 18 of the Hindu adoption and maintenance act, 1956
  • Section 4 of the Muslim women protection on divorce act,1986

No law provides for the maintenance of the husband except the Hindu marriage act,1955. The Hindu marriage act creates an equal obligation on both the partners for maintenance under section 24 and section 25.

Section 24: provides for maintenance during the litigation

Section 24 provides for the maintenance during the proceeding and the expenses of the proceeding itself to the husband or wife as the case may be.

Under this provision, if the husband has no source of income can claim the maintenance and expenses of the proceeding from his wife if she can do so.

The court can order the respondent to pay a reasonable amount to the husband after considering the income of the husband and the income of the wife. The application filed for this purpose must be disposed of within sixty days of filing. It can be filed during the proceeding only not after its termination.

Section 25: permanent maintenance/alimony

Under sec 25 the court can allow the permanent maintenance/alimony to wife or husband as the case may be, such sum should be paid monthly or periodically for the term not exceeding the life of the applicant.

The court while deciding the amount to be paid has regards to the income and the property of the respondent.

The court can change its order after the change in the circumstances of the applicant.

The husband can get maintenance during his inability

In Navya V M vs. Shivaprasad M K, 2017 the court held that after proving that he is permanently disabled to earn any income can claim maintenance from his wife. Sitting ideally even after having the resources to earn income cannot entitle him to the maintenance.

In Smt. Kanchan vs. Kamlendra, 1992 the court held that granting maintenance to the able-bodied and skilled person can promote idleness.

In Yashpal Singh Thakur vs. Smt Anjana Rajput, 2001 it was decided that a person who voluntarily incapacitates himself to earn is not entitled to claim maintenance from his wife. A person who can easily get the job but still not doing anything is not entitled to the maintenance. There is no personal law except Hindu which grants maintenance to the husband. Section 125 should be amended to allow maintenance to the Muslims, Christians as this discriminatory to them. Under Indian society, the husband has the responsibility to maintain many relations like parents, child, and wife. The obligation of maintaining a wife comes out of the status of marriage. So with the view of the changing society, a husband who is incapable to maintain himself can also claim maintenance to his affluent wife.

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