1) Introduction

           Chapter XXA was inserted in the Indian Penal Code in year 1983. The object of adding new chapter XXA in the Indian Penal Code is to punish a husband and his relatives who torture and harass the wife with a view to coerce her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demands or to drive her to commit suicide.

2) Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty : 

          According to Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code 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 purposes of this section, "cruelty" means-

                      (a) any willful 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 property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.

Ingredients : 

   To invoke Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code following ingredients are to be satisfied. 

1) A person is the husband or the relatives of the husband of the women.

2) He subjects the women to cruelty

             The offence under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and triable by Magistrate of the first Class.

3) Relevant Case Law

Mustafa Shaikh Vs. State of Maharashtra (2008)

     In this case Court held that where death of wife was caused due to poisoning within one year of her marriage, and there were evidence of witnesses clearly show that, after her marriage he was subjected to torture and harassment for demand of gold jewels and money by the accused. Accused is liable for punishment under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code.    

See also 

1) Dowry Death (Section 304-B, Indian Penal Code, 1860)

2) Distinction / Difference between Adultery and Rape

3) Double nationality and nationality of married Women

4) Requisite of a valid adoption

5) Offences against Marriage (I.P.C)


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