Inside Court News

Dowry demand without cruelty is not an offence under section 498A IPC: Kerala High Court

Recently, the Kerala High Court observed that demand for dowry or any property or valuable security without the ingredient of “cruelty” will not amount to an offence under section 498A of Indian Penal code.

It also held that trivial disputes between spouses or their family, in their daily life, cannot be considered as harassment or cruelty.

“A mere skirmish in the ordinary life between the spouses or intermittent quarrel or even a frequent quarrel, unless constitutes the ingredient of ‘harassment’ for meeting an unlawful demand for property or valuable security or on account of failure to meet such unlawful demand, would not constitute or attract the criminal liability that can be fastened for the offence under Section 498 A IPC, Like wise, a demand for dowry or any property or valuable security without the ingredient of “cruelty” as explained under clause (a) or (b) will not attract the said offence, but a combined effect of both these would bring home the liability under Section 498 A IPC,” court stated.

The court was hearing a revision petition filed by a man challenging a sessions court order that had convicted and sentenced him under Section 498A.

Facts of the case were that the wife who was the de facto complainant, alleged that her husband raised a demand for more dowry and assaulted her. The nature of the assault by the accused (husband) was not explained.

The court took into notice that there was no evidence to show any kind of assault or any injury received by her on such assault. No medical evidence was produced. The court opined “In order tobring up a case punishable under Section 498A, it must be satisfied that the husband or his relatives subjected the woman, the wife, with cruelty.”

The court further suggested authorities to be more vigilant and cautious while setting the criminal law in motion. It said that it shall not unnecessarily drag such mundane disputes or differences between the spouses or their relatives in a criminal prosecution for the offence under Section 498 A IPC.

Therefore, after noting all the facts and finding that there was no acceptable evidence to prove manhandling nor any document evidencing any earlier incident or assault on the victim, the Court set aside the conviction and acquitted the accused.

case title- Niyas, Aaramthu House v State of Kerala

written by Shagun Behal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Inside Court News

Last Updated on June 23, 2024 by News Desk The Kerala High Court Advocates Association(KHCAA) submitted its opinion to the expert committee, headed by...

Inside Court News

Last Updated on June 22, 2024 by News Desk The Bombay High Court recently condemned an Additional Sessions Judge for inappropriately using the word...

Inside Court News

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by News Desk It was ruled by the Kerala HC that if an employee is sharing messages and...

Inside Court News

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by News Desk The recent ruling by the Madras High Court clarifies the legal stance regarding property inheritance...

Exit mobile version