If he is satisfied that the person has sufficient means and neglects or refuses to maintain his wife, unable to maintain herself, or his legitimate or illegitimate child, whether married or not, unable to maintain itself; or his legitimate or illegitimate child (not being a married daughter) who has attained majority, where such child is, by reason of any physical or mental abnormality or injury unable to maintain itself; or his father or mother, unable to maintain himself or herself, he may order for the payment of maintenance.
The fixing of the rate of allowance is to be done on the merits of each case and the separate income and means of the person claiming maintenance are relevant circumstances to be taken into account for this purpose. The monthly rate of allowance for maintenance is not to exceed Rs. 500 in the whole to each person for all the items of maintenance taken together.
In a case where the wife is claiming maintenance from her husband, the Magistrate has to find out as to what is required by the wife to maintain a standard of living which is neither luxurious nor penurious, but is modestly consistent with the status of the family.
According to Section 125(2) of the Code, any such allowance for the maintenance or interim maintenance and expenses for proceeding shall be payable from the date of the order, or, if so ordered, from the date of the application for maintenance or interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding, as the case may be.