• 498A IPC

  • The S-498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, pertains to the offence of cruelty being committed on a married woman by her Husband or the relatives of her husband. As per the law of land, every information to the police relating to the commission of offence under Section-498A of the Indian Penal Code (For short IPC) is supposed to be converted into a formal FIR. The registration of the FIR follows a Police investigation in the Case. The Police have lot of discretion in the matter of investigation and interrogations. The Police can seek custodial interrogation of the husband and his relatives, and at the same time, it can opt not to press for that. The custodial interrogation means interrogation by the Police after arresting the person concerned. To curb the misuse of this desertion by the Police, the Courts, i.e., the High Courts all over India and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India have passed, from time to time, the Orders, Judgments, and Guidelines directing the Police not to arrest the husband and/ or his relatives in a particular facts and circumstances. The Superior Officers of the Police also often issue such Guidelines to the concerned Investigating Officers (IOs) at their command as might be essential for the due compliance of the Court Orders and Judgments.

    Other Related Feminine Issues In India

    Feminine Jurisprudence and Gender Bias Laws in India- Gender Justice- Sub Themes- Women Rights in India- The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018- Rights of a Rape Survivor- Why the amendment was required- Sexual Harassment at Work Places- Rights of the Girl Children and Safeguards- Gender Based Wage Gap in India and abroad- Concurrence of Laws in India with International Convention- Genesis of Increasing Crime and Atrocities against Women- Women Empowerment- Surrogacy Rights in India (Rights of Surrogate Mothers)- J. S. Verma, J Committee Report- Marital Rape under IPC- Section 377- Misuse of Gender Biased Laws in India- Overlapping Offences and other inconsistencies in Indian Criminal Legal System- The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971.

    Criminal Courts

    [In Hierarchical Order]

    • Supreme Court Of India
    • High Courts Of Various States
    • District & Sessions Judge [D&SJ] 
    • Metropolitan Magistrates [MM]
    • Judicial Magistrates [JM]
    • Mediators & Concilliators.

    Other Criminal Foras

    • Crime Against Women Cell [CAW Cell]
    • Central Bureau of Investigation [CBI]
    • Central Vigilance Commission [CVC]
    • Comptroller and Auditor General of India [CAG].
    • Delhi Commission for Women [DCW]
    • Enforcement Directorate [ED]
    • Indian Govt. Limbs & Foreign Missions 
    • Intelligence Bureau (IB)
    • National Commission for Women [NCW]
    • National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO)
    • Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)
    • Serious Fraud Investigation Office [SFIO]- SFIO is a multi-disciplinary organization under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, consisting of experts in the field of accountancy, forensic auditing, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation for detecting and prosecuting or recommending for prosecution white-collar crimes/frauds.
    • Senior Citizen Cell.
    • Women Helpline Nos.

    Governing Legislations

    • Section-304B. Dowry death.
    • Section-306. Abetment of suicide.
    • Section-406. Punishment for criminal breach of trust.
    • Section-493. Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage.
    • Section-494. Marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife.
    • Section-495. Same offence with concealment of former marriage from person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted.
    • Section-496. Marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage.
    • Section-497. Adultery.
    • Section-498. Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman.
    • Section-498A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.
    • Section-503. Criminal intimidation.
    • Section-506. Punishment for criminal intimidation.

      Indian Penal Code, 1860

      Setion-304B. Dowry death.-(1) Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called "dowry death", and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death.

      Explanation.--For the purpose of this sub-section, "dowry" shall have the same meaning as in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961).

      (2) Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.

      Setion-306. Abetment of suicide.- If any person commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

      Setion-406. Punishment for criminal breach of trust.- Whoever commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

      Setion-493. Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage.- Every man who by deceit causes any woman who is not lawfully married to him to believe that she is lawfully married to him and to cohabit or have sexual intercourse with him in that belief, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine,

      Setion-494. Marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife.- Whoever, having a husband or wife living, marries in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of its taking place during the life of such husband or wife, shall be punished with imprisonment of cither description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

      Exception.-This section does not extend to any person whose marriage with such husband or wife has been declared void by a court of competent jurisdiction, nor to any person who contracts a marriage during the life of a former husband or wife, if such husband or wife, at the time of the subsequent marriage, shall have been continually absent from such person for the space of seven years, and shall not have been heard of by such person as being alive within that time provided the person contracting such subsequent marriage shall, before such marriage takes place, inform the person with whom such marriage is contracted of the real state of facts so far as the same arc within his or her knowledge.

      Setion-495. Same offence with concealment of former marriage from person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted.- Whoever commits the offence defined in the last preceding section having concealed from the person with whom the subsequent marriage is contracted, the fact of the former marriage, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

      Setion-496. Marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage.- Whoever, dishonestly or with a fraudulent intention, goes through the ceremony of being married, knowing that he is not thereby lawfully married, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also tie liable to fine.

      Setion-497. Adultery.- Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall be punishable as an abettor.

      Setion-498. Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman.- Whoever takes or entices away any woman who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of any other man, from that man, or from any person having the care of her on behalf of that man, with intent that she may have illicit intercourse with any person, or conceals or detains with that intent any such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

      Setion-498A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.- Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

      Explanation.-For the purpose of this section, "cruelty" means--

      (a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or

      (b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any properly or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.

      Section-503. Criminal intimidation.- Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits criminal intimidation.

      Explanation.-A threat to injure the reputation of any deceased person in whom the person threatened is interested, is within this section.

      Illustration

      A, for the purpose of inducing 6 to desist from prosecuting a civil suit, threatens to burn B's house. A is guilty of criminal intimidation. 

      Section-506. Punishment for criminal intimidation.- Whoever commits, the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both;

      If threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, etc.-- and if the threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or to impute, unchastity to a woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with line, or with both.

      The captioned subject is complex by its very nature. We, therefore, always encourage our visitors & Clients to seek an independent legal advice by our empanelled lawyers. In such Cases, our lawyers devise most appropriate legal recourse for our Clients after examining the related provisions of law, i.e. The Indian Penal Code, 1860, The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973, The Limitation Act, 1963, The Evidence Act, 1872, Other relevant Acts, Judgments and Citations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court Of India and the High Courts. Even otherwise, the question as to how to apply the laws, judgments and citations is rather more complex, as it involves a thorough examination of substantial laws, procedural laws and Court precedents in a given set of facts and circumstances.

    Judgments: U/S- 498A IPC [Dowry Demand] & U/S-304B IPC [Dowry Death]

    • Acquittal: 498A Cases culminating in acquittal of the husband & in-laws.
    • Anticipatory Bail: In the Cases involving 498A Cases. 
    • Bail: In the Cases involving 498A Cases. 
    • Conviction: 498A Cases culminating in conviction of the husband & in-laws.
    • Sentence & Imprisonment: Judgments On Sentence- Judgments Culminating In Modification of The Term of The Sentence to the period of incarceration already undergone, etc.
    • Quashing Of FIR: In the Cases involving 498A Cases.

    Citation Of Judgments

    • Arnesh Kumar Vs. State Of Bihar & Anr., Criminal Appeal No. 1277  OF 2014, Order dated: 02.07.2014, Bench: Chandramauli Kr. Prasad & Pinaki Chandra Ghose, JJ, Supreme Court Of India, Citations: (2014) 8 SCC 273 [Full PDF Judgments]- Anticipatory Bail.
    • Baljeet Singh (Dr.) Versus State NCT Of Delhi & Anr., W.P.(Crl) 503/2013, Judgment Dated- 02.05.2013, Bench: Pratibha Rani, J, Delhi High Court [Full PDF Judgment].- Judgments On Quashing Of FIR- Seeking Quashing of FIR U/S-226 of the Constitution & S-482 of CrPC.- The FIR U/S- 498-A/406/34 IPC. 
    • Bobbili Ramakrishna Raju Yadav & Ors. Versus State Of Andhra Pradesh & Anr, Criminal Appeal No. 45 OF 2016, Judgment Dated: 19.01.2016, Bench: Thakur, A.K. Sikri, R. Banumathi, JJ,, Supreme Court Of India [Full Bench PDF Judgment].- Criminal prosecution for the offence U/Ss. 498A, 304B IPC and under Sections 3, 4 & 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.- “13. Giving of dowry and the traditional presents at or about the time of wedding does not in any way raise a presumption that such a property was thereby entrusted and put under the dominion of the parents-in-law of the bride or other close relations so as to attract ingredients of Section 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act...”.
    • B.S. Joshi & Ors. State of Haryana & Anr., Appeal (Crl.) 383 Of 2003, Date Of Judgment: 13.03.2003, Bench: Y.K. Sabharwal & H.K. Sema, JJ, Supreme Court Of India, Citation: (2003) 4 SCC 675 [Full PDF Judgment].- The question that falls for determination in the instant case is about the ambit of the inherent powers of the High Courts under Section 482, Code of Criminal Procedure (Code) read with Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India to quash criminal proceedings.- The scope and ambit of power under Section 482 has been examined by this Court in catena of earlier decisions but in the present case that is required to be considered in relation to matrimonial disputes.- The matrimonial disputes of the kind in the present case have been on considerable increase in recent times resulting in filing of complaints by the wife under Sections 498A and 406, IPC not only against the husband but his other family members also. W hen such matters are resolved either by wife agreeing to rejoin the matrimonial home or mutual separation of husband and wife and also mutual settlement of other pending disputes as a result whereof both sides approach the High Court and jointly pray for quashing of the criminal proceedings or the First Information Report or complaint filed by the wife under Section s 498A and 406, IPC, can the prayer be declined on the ground that since the offences are no n-compoundable under Section 320 of the Code and, therefore, it is not permissible for the Court to quash the criminal proceedings or FIR or complaint.- The SC quashed the FIR. 
    • Gian Singh vs. State of Punjab- SC-23.11.2010- (Crl.) No.8989 of 2010= Criminal Appeal Nos.2107-2125 of 2011- 2012-10-SCC-303- Settlement And Compounding Of Criminal Cases [Full PDF Judgments].
    • Jagdish v. State of Uttaranchal, Criminal Appeal No. 1097/2012, Judgment Dated: 25/11/2014, Bench: T.S. Thakur, J.: Adarsh Kumar Goel, J.: R. Banumathi, J., Citation: 2015(2) SCC 252: 2014(13) JT 249: 2014(13) SCALE 148: 2014(9) SLT 625: 2015(2) Crimes 200(SC)- Penal Code, 1860- Sections 304-B, 498-A & 201- Judgments On Sentence- Judgments Culminating In Modification of The Term of The Sentence to the period of incarceration already undergone, etc.- Conviction under- Scope, lack of persistent demand of dowry, accused leaving separately from deceased, effect of- Death of sister-in-law of appellant by burning- Appeal against conviction under Sections 304-B and 498-A by appellant/Jagdish/elder brother of husband of deceased- Held, a mere demand of dowry at one or two instances may not attract provisions of Section 304B IPC though such demand might be an offence punishable under Section 498A IPC- There is no material to show that there was persistent demand of dowry by first appellant-Jagdish- Appellant who stated to be living separately could not have persistently subjected Seema to dowry harassment and cruelty and first appellant is to be acquitted of charge of 304B IPC but to be convicted under Section 498-A IPC- HELD: In his statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C., first appellant-Jagdish has stated that he has no wife or child and that he is living separately in Village Churiyala and that his brother Sukhbir was living with his wife and children. First appellant has further stated that he has been living separately even prior to the marriage of Chandrahas and that he has his own food prepared. We find no reason to disbelieve the statement of the first appellant-Jagdish. Insofar as signature of first appellant-Jagdish in Ex A-3 compromise deed is concerned, being elder member of the family and to ensure peaceful married life of Chandrahas, first appellant perhaps might have signed in the compromise deed. The first appellant who is stated to be living separately could not have persistently subjected Seema to dowry harassment and cruelty and the first appellant is to be acquitted of the charge of 304B IPC. For the alleged demand of dowry by the first appellant as spoken by PWs 1 and 2, the first appellant is to be convicted under Section 498A IPC. As seen from the materials on record, first appellant-Jagdish was about 70 years of age in the year 1996. Considering his age, lenient view has to be taken in imposing the sentence for the offence under Section 498A IPC (Para 16)- As Jagdish 70 years of age, he is sentenced to period already undergone by him for committing offence under Section 498A IPC (Para 15 & 16).
    • Major Singh Vs. State of Punjab, Criminal Appeal No. 1145/2012, Judgment Dated: 08/04/2015; Bench: T.S. Thakur, J.: R. Banumathi, J.: Amitava Roy, J.-  Citation: 2015(5) SCC 201: 2015(5) JT 435: 2015(4) SCALE 599: 2015(2) JCC 1385: 2015 AIR(SC) 2081: 2015(6) SLT 452.- Penal Code, 1860- Section 304-B- Acquittal- Lack of reasonable nexus between harassment and death, convition set aside- Appeal against judgment of High Court of whereby High Court confirmed conviction of appellants under Section 304B- During pendency of appeal before High Court, husband of deceased died and appeal against husband abated and appeal survived qua appellants viz., father-in-law and mother-in-law- Held, Karamjit Kaur died due to organo phosphorus poisoning within 21/2 years of marriage- However, fact that deceased was subjected to harassment or cruelty in connection with demand of dowry not proved by prosecution- Both courts below acquitted all accused for offence punishable under Section 498A IPC- No evidence as to demand of dowry or cruelty and that deceased Karamjit Kaur was subjected to dowry harassment "soon before her death"- Conviction of appellants under Section 304B IPC is liable to be set aside- Appeal allowed.- Hira Lal & Ors. vs. State(Govt. of NCT) Delhi, (2003) 8 SCC 80; State of A.P. vs. Raj Gopal Asawa & Anr., (2004) 4 SCC 470; Balwant Singh & Anr. vs. State of Punjab, (2004) 7 SCC 724; Kaliyaperumal & Anr. vs. State of Tamil Nadu, (2004) 9 SCC 157; Kamesh Panjiyar @ Kamlesh Panjiyar vs. State of Bihar, (2005) 2 SCC 388; Harjit Singh vs. State of Punjab, (2006) 1 SCC 463; Biswajit Halder @ Babu Halder & Ors. vs. State of West Bengal, (2008) 1 SCC 202 & Narayanamurthy vs. State of Karnataka & Anr., (2008) 16 SCC 512, Relied on (Para 11, 13, 14, 17 & 18)- HELD: Prosecution has not examined any independent witness or the Panchayatdars to prove that there was demand of dowry and that the deceased was subjected to ill-treatment. Ordinarily, offences against married woman are being committed within the four corners of a house and normally direct evidence regarding cruelty or harassment on the woman by her husband or relatives of the husband is not available. But when PW3 has specifically stated that the demand of dowry by the accused was informed to the Panchayatdars and that Panchayat was taken to the village Badiala, the alleged ill-treatment or cruelty of Karamjit Kaur by her husband or relatives could have been proved by examination of the Panchayatdars. The fact that deceased was subjected to harassment or cruelty in connection with demand of dowry is not proved by the prosecution. It is also pertinent to note that both the courts below have acquitted all the accused for the offence punishable under Section 498A IPC (Para 13)- Insofar as the occurrence on 14.08.1996, PWs 1 and 3 have stated that they saw the accused dragging Karamjit Kaur towards a room inside the house and that Karamjit Kaur was trembling and on seeing PWs 1 and 3, all the four accused persons ran away and after taking last breath Karamjit Kaur expired. Subsequent conduct of PWs 1 and 3 raises serious doubts about their presence in the house of the accused at the time of occurrence and witnessing accused dragging deceased-Karamjit Kaur. That PWs 1 and 3 have not raised any alarm nor tried to chase the accused and that PW1 did not inform anyone in the village of the accused looks quite unnatural. The subsequent conduct of PWs 1 and 3 raises doubt about their presence at the time of occurrence and the prosecution version. But the fact remains that deceased-Karamjit Kaur died within 21/2 years of marriage otherwise under normal circumstances. As pointed out earlier, in the cases of dowry death prosecution is obliged to show that "soon before the occurrence" deceased was subjected to cruelty or harassment. In the absence of proof that deceased was subjected to cruelty and harassment "soon before her death", the conviction of the appellants cannot be sustained (Para 14)- There is no evidence as to the demand of dowry or cruelty and that deceased Karamjit Kaur was subjected to dowry harassment "soon before her death". Except the demand of scooter, there is nothing on record to substantiate the allegation of dowry demand. Assuming that there was demand of dowry, in our view, it can only be attributed to the husband-Jagsir Singh who in all probability could have demanded the same for his use. In the absence of any evidence that the deceased was treated with cruelty or harassment in connection with the demand of dowry "soon before her death" by the appellants, the conviction of the appellants under Section 304B IPC cannot be sustained. The trial court and the High Court have not analyzed the evidence in the light of the essential ingredients of Section 304B IPC and the conviction of the appellants under Section 304B IPC is liable to be set aside (Para 17).
    • Rajesh Sharma-SC-27.07.2017-498A- Guidelines Qua Welfare Committee- Family Members Personal Appearance- In this case, referring to Sushil Kumar Sharma versus Union of India, (2005) 6 SCC 281, Preeti Gupta versus State of Jharkhand, (2010) 7 SCC 667, Ramgopal versus State of Madhya Pradesh, (2010) 13 SCC 540, Chander Bhan versus State5 in Bail Application No.1627/2008, Delhi High Court, (2008) 151 DLT 691, Lalita Kumari versus Government of Uttar Pradesh, (2014) 2 SCC 1, it was submitted that misuse of the provision is judicially acknowledged. Honble Supreme Court Of India, therefore, issued the following directions to prevent such misuse: (a) In every district one or more Family Welfare Committees be constituted by the District Legal Services Authorities preferably comprising of three members. The constitution and working of such committees may be reviewed from time to time and at least once in a year by the District and Sessions Judge of the district who is also the Chairman of the District Legal Services Authority; (b) The Committees may be constituted out of para legal volunteers/social workers/retired persons/wives of working officers/other citizens who may be found suitable and willing; (c) The Committee members will not be called as witnesses; (d) Every complaint under Section 498A received by the police or the Magistrate be referred to and looked into by such committee. Such committee may have interaction with the parties personally or by means of telephone or any other mode of communication including electronic communication; (e) Report of such committee be given to the Authority by whom the complaint is referred to it latest within one month from the date of receipt of complaint; (f) The committee may give its brief report about the factual aspects and its opinion in the matter. (g) Till report of the committee is received, no arrest should normally be effected; (h) The report may be then considered by the Investigating Officer or the Magistrate on its own merit; …..(iv) If a bail application is filed with at least one clear day’s notice to the Public Prosecutor/complainant, the same may be decided as far as possible on the same day. Recovery of disputed dowry items may not by itself be a ground for denial of bail if maintenance or other rights of wife/minor children can otherwise be protected. Needless to say that in dealing with bail matters, individual roles, prima facie truth of the allegations, requirement of further arrest/ custody and interest of justice must be carefully weighed; (v) In respect of persons ordinarily residing out of India impounding of passports or issuance of Red Corner Notice should not be a routine; (vi) It will be open to the District Judge or a designated senior judicial officer nominated by the District Judge to club all connected cases between the parties arising out of matrimonial disputes so that a holistic view is taken by the Court to whom all such cases are entrusted; and (vii) Personal appearance of all family members and particularly outstation members may not be required and the trial court ought to grant exemption from personal appearance or permit appearance by video conferencing without adversely affecting progress of the trial. (viii) These directions will not apply to the offences involving tangible physical injuries or death[Full PDF Judgments].
    • Rajinder Kumar v. State of Haryana, Criminal Appeal No. 799/2011, Judgment Dated-14/01/2015, Bench: Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, J.: N.V. Ramana, J., Citation: 2015(4) SCC 215: 2015(1) SCALE 354: 2015(1) SLT 525: 2015 CrLJ 1560: 2015(1) Crimes 267(SC): 2015(2) JCC 1049: 2015(3) Supreme 12- Penal Code, 1860- Section 304-B- Conviction for dowry death- Death under other than normal circumstance, harassment soon before death, justified- Trial Court convicted appellant/husband of deceased u/s 498A and 304B IPC and acquitted other accused (mother and his sister)- On appeal, High Court set aside conviction and sentence of appellant u/s 498A IPC while upholding conviction and sentence u/s 304B- Appeal- Held, death of deceased (wife) occurred within seven years of her marriage- Not disputed that her death not under normal circumstances- Statements of complainant (PW-7/elder sister of deceased) and PW-13/brother were specific about harassment of deceased by accused in connection with demand of dowry- It is also evident from evidence on record that she was meted out with such harassment soon before her death- Prosecution was successful in proving ingredients of Section 304-B IPC- Trial Court rightly presumed that accused had caused dowry death of victim and High Court rightly upheld conviction and sentence- Appeal dismissed (Para 8, 12, 13 & 14)- HELD: Hari Chand (PW-13) has corroborated the statement made by the complainant (PW-7). No inconsistency is found in their statements. Defence also could not make out anything to disprove the same during their cross-examinations. From the statements of the complainant (PW-7) and Hari Chand (PW-13), we find that the deceased-Raj Rani had been harassed on account of demand of dowry soon before her death (Para 8).

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