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Wife from void marriage can file case for cruelty under Section 498A: Jammu and Kashmir High Court

Team SoOLEGAL 28 Dec 2020 4:47pm

Wife from void marriage can file case for cruelty under Section 498A: Jammu and Kashmir High Court

On 23rd December, 2020, High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in a case [1]Karnail Chand and others Vs. State of J&K, had held that, an offence under Section 498A of Ranbir Penal Code, can be prosecuted even if the husband entered the marriage with the woman, the complainant in this case, was void. Justice Sanjay Dhar was hearing a petition in which the petitioners had challenged the FIR which was lodged by the complainant under Section 498A of the said act.

The Court had dismissed the petition and held that, when a person enters into a marital agreement with a woman, the concept of 'husband' in Section 498A of the RPC, applies irrespective of the legality of the marriage. A FIR was lodged by the woman at Udhampur police station against her husband and her in-laws stating that, she was beaten up by her husband and her in-laws and also she was thrown out of her matrimonial house. The woman also stated that, she was not getting any maintenance from her husband.

This particular FIR was challenged before the High Court and according to the petitioners, the husband is already married to another woman and thus he cannot marry for the second time during the life time of his first wife. It was therefore submitted that, as the respondent is not legally wedded wife of the accused hence, an offence under Section 498A of the said act cannot be constituted against the petitioners. Necessary documents were also shown by the petitioners which clearly proved that the accused was already married at the time when he married the respondent.

The Court while referring to a Supreme Court judgement [2]A Subhash Babu v State of AP and another, had held that, when a person enters into a marital agreement with a woman, the concept of 'husband' in Section 498A of the RPC, applies irrespective of the legal validity of the marriage. Although the respondent is not legally wedded wife of the accused, but still the accused as well as the petitioners can be prosecuted under Section 498A of Ranbir Penal Code.



Tagged: Jammu and Kashmir High Court   Section 498A   Justice Sanjay Dhar   Udhampur police station   Ranbir Penal Code  
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