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Report No. 148

4.7. The Maintenance Orders Enforcement Act, 1921 (18 of 1921).-

The Maintenance Orders Enforcement Act, 1921 was enacted in order to do justice to, and provide protection for the wives deserted by their husbands (and children who had been neglected by their legal guardians) either in the United Kingdom or in any part of the British Dominions and to make reciprocal legal provisions in the constituent parts of the British Empire in the interests of such destitute and deserted persons. The Act enables the court in British India to make an order to be transmitted to the courts in every reciprocating part of the British Empire to be registered and enforced there (and vice versa).

According to section 3, if the Central Government is satisfied that legal provisions exist in any country or territory outside India for the enforcement within that country or territory of maintenance orders passed by the courts in India, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that this Act applies in respect of that country or territory and, thereupon the Act shall apply accordingly. The Act lays down the detailed procedure for achieving this object. Maintenance of wife, children and parents is governed by section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and by enactments or rules of personal law.

But situations of a transnational nature, such as those dealt with by the Act under consideration, would need special legislation. Section 13 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 would not meet the kind of situation for which the Act under consideration is intended. Section 13 is concerned with a suit on a foreign judgment and not with its immediate enforcement. Sections 44 and 44A of the Code also would not be adequate to provide for the enforcement of orders. Hence the Act cannot be repealed.



Repeal of certain Pre-1947 Central Acts Back




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