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AN OVERVIEW OF SECTION 498A OF IPC

SECTION 498A OF IPC

SECTION 498A OF IPC

Author : AMALKRISHNA A S

INTRODUCTION

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the main criminal code of India. It extends to the whole of India. The introductory draft of Indian Penal Code was formulated in the year 1860 and this was done under the supervision of the First Law commission which was chaired by Lord macaulay.

In this first work allotment, I have to write an article about An overview of section 498A, Defamation Laws under IPC, Provisions and laws Related to Attempts to commit offences under IPC.

An overview of section 498A, A Husband or relatives of women subjecting her to cruelty whoever, being the husband or the relative of husband of woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extends to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

Defamation laws under IPC; it is an offence against reputation. Defamation is an accusation made by one person so as to lower another person in the estimation or opinions of others.

Provisions and laws related to Attempts to commit offences under IPC, Section 511 of IPC deals with punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonments. This section deals with one-half of imprisonment for life or one-half of fine as provided for offences or both.

AN OVERVIEW OF SECTION 498A OF IPC

Meaning, Nature and Scope of matrimonial cruelty

Cruelty to a wife by the husband or his relatives is an offence under section 498A and imposes punishment on his relatives. Section 498A and 304 B was introduced in of the Indian penal code, 1860 in the year 1983 to prevent cruelty to a woman by a husband and his relatives and dowry death respectively. Section 498A provides that whoever, being the husband or relative of the husband of a woman, subject such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment up to three years and also liable to fine.

Meaning of cruelty

Cruelty means any willful conduct, which likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or mental or physical health of woman or harassment of the woman or her relative to meet unlawful demand for any property or valuable security. The cruelty of husband and his relatives on the wife called matrimonial cruelty.

Section 498A has been introduced in Indian penal code, 1860 to prevent dowry deaths. Section 113B of Indian Evidence Act, 1872

provided that if it was shown that soon before the death of a woman she was subject to cruelty or harassment by a person in connection with demand for dowry then it shall be presumed that such person who harassed the woman had caused the death of the woman .Similarly section 174, the criminal procedure code,1973 was amended making inquest by Executive Magistrates mandatory in case of suicides or suspicious death of a woman within sevn years of her marriage.

Pinakin Mahipatray Rawal v. State of Gujarat AIR 2014 SC 331,it has been observed that mere fact that the husband has developed some intimacy with another ,during the subsistence of marriage and failed to discharge his marital obligations as such would not amount to cruelty , but it must be of such a nature as is likely to drive the spouse to commit suicide to fall within the explanation to Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code ,1860.

Cruelty by husband or his relatives

Women in general and brides in particular are the unfortunate victims of dowry in India. It is almost a matter of day to day occurrence that married women are harassed, tortured and put to death because parents are unable to meet the dowry demands of husband or in laws as laid down in the L.V. Jadhav v. S.A. Pawer 1983 Cri LJ 1501.

 Section 113A Of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 imposes burden of proof of innocence on the part of the accused in case of a wife’s  death within a period of seven years of marriage. Sections 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act do not attract double jeopardy.

Inder Raj Malik v. Mrs. Sunitha Mah , 1986 Cri. LJ 1510 , it has  been held that a person can be convicted both under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition act as well as under Section 498A of IPC,

1860 because it doesnot create any situation for double jeopardy under article 20(2) of constitution of India.

An offence under Section 498A is not a compoundable offence because it is a very serious offence, but the High court can permit the parties to compound the offence.

Amesh kumar v.State of Bihar, 2014(8) SCC273, the Supreme court noticed the rampant misuse of Section 498A IPC 1860 and Dowry Prohibition Act and issue general directions to the police inter alia not to arrest the accused automatically.

Amrut Lal Lila Dharbhai Kotak and others v.State of Gujarat, 2015(3) Supreme 116,it has been observed that section 304B and Section 498A of the code are not mutually inclusive. If an accused is acquitted under one section, it does not mean that the accused cannot be convicted under another section .Section 113B  of Indian Evidence Act , 1872 provides that presumption arises when a woman has committed suicide within aperiod of seven years from the date of marriage.