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Report No. 73

1.11. Recommendation for amending the Indian Penal Code.-

In the light of the above discussion, we recommend that a new section, to be numbered as section 498A, incorporating the points made above, should be added in the Indian Penal Code immediately after section 498, which appears at the end of the Chapter on offences relating to marriage (Chapter XX), as follows:-

"498A. Failure by husband to pay permanent alimony or maintenance to wife when ordered by court to do so.- (1) Whoever, being a person against whom a decree or order for the payment of maintenance or permanent alimony to his wife has been made by a court of justice1, having sufficient means to comply with such decree or order, contumaciously disobeys such decree or order, shall, except in the cases specified in sub-section (3), be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and with fine which may extend to twice the amount of arrears of maintenance or permanent alimony, and which shall in no case be less than such amount.

(2) When a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court shall also direct payment to the wife, out of the fine so ordered to be paid, of the amount referred to in sub-section (1).

(3) Nothing in this section shall apply to disobedience to-

(a) an order passed under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, or an order passed before the commencement of that Code under section 488 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, or

(b) an order for the payment of maintenance or alimony "pendente lite."

Certain amendments will be required in the procedural law to deal with several matters arising out of the above amendment. We proceed to deal with theme2.

1. See definition of "court of justice" in section 20, Indian Penal Code.

2. Chapters 2-3, infra.

Criminal Liability for failure by Husband to Pay Maintenance or Permanent Alimony certain to the Wife by the Court under Certain Enactments or Rules of Law Back

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