In India, as a great nation, a woman is symbolized as a goddess, an idol of respect and devotion to the gods. We all have been brought up in such a way that summons the highest honour and respect for the fairer gender. In spite of that, it is disheartening to know that the latest data do not reflect that in fact it says about introspection. In the increase of crime against women there is an unceasing discussion about the laws that deals with the offences against women.
Every society tries to protect the institution of marriage which besides providing so many purposes implies sexual intercourse and legalises it. In many states of the world leaving certain parts, sexual intercourse outside marriage is a criminal offence though in an unusual form. Chapter XX of Indian Penal Code, section 493 to section 498, contends with the offences related to marriage. All these sections studies the unchastely in the institution of marriage in one or the other way.
The following are some of the important sections of marriage:-
Section 493: Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage.
Section 494: Bigamy
Section 495: Same offence with concealment of former marriage from one person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted.
Section 496: Marriage ceremony dishonestly gone through without lawful marriage/ Unlawful marriage
Section 497: Adultery
Section 498: Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman
Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage.
Every man who by misrepresenting the truth causes any woman who is not legally married to him, to believe that she is legally married to him and to have sexual intimacy with him in that belief, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years and shall be liable for fine to.
Ram Chandra Bhagat VS State of Jharkhand, 2010
The court held that the appellant has practiced deception of existence of legal marriage and making her cohabit with him in that belief. Thus, the ingredient of section 493 IPC was fulfilled by the prosecution. The accused was therefore held liable under section 493 of IPC beyond any reasonable doubt.
Bigamy: Any person marrying again during the lifetime of husband/wife
Any person having a husband or wife living, marries in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of taking place during the husband or wife is alive, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term extended seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
This section does not apply to any person who marries with such husband or wife at the time of subsequent marriage have been continuously absent for the time period of seven years and shall not have any information of such that person being alive or dead.
Sarla Mughal and other VS Union of India, 1995
Supreme Court held that the first marriage have to be dissolved under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and his second marriage was considered as unlawful under section 494 of IPC.
Same offence with concealment of former marriage from one person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted.
Any person who commits the offence defined in section 494 of IPC, having concealed from the individual with whom the marriage has been taken place, the fact of the former marriage, shall be punished with imprisonment extending to ten years and shall also be liable for fine.
Subhash Babu VS State of Andhra Pradesh
The court held that the accused was liable under section 495 of IPC in addition with the section 494 of IPC and was punished as provided therein.
Marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage.
Whoever, dishonestly or with a fraudulent intention goes through the ceremony of being married, and has knowledge that he is thereby not legally married shall be punished for a term extending to seven years and shall be liable for fine too.
Reeta VS E. Premkumar, 2009
The High Court held that the accused was liable for the offence under section 496 of IPC and that the accused second marriage will be considered unlawful set in the criminal law. The accused was punished as provided therein.
Any person who has sexual intercourse with an individual who is and whom he knows or is believed to be the wife of another man without the permission or consent of that man, such sexual intimacy will not amount to the offence of rape and will be guilty of the offence of adultery and shall be punished for imprisonment for a term of which can be extended to five years and shall also be liable to fine or both. In such a situation, the woman will not be considered as accused and will not be held punishable as an abettor.
Kashuri VS Ramswamy
The court held that the roof of sexual intimacy needs to be inferred from the facts and situation of a case as direct evidence can exceptionally be proved.
Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman.
Whoever takes or entices away any lady who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, from that man, or from any person having care of her on behalf of her husband with an intention to have illicit sexual relations or detains with that intent with any such lady shall be punished for imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable with a fine or both.
Alamgir VS State of Bihar
It was observed that if a man intentionally goes away with the wife of another in such a fashion to deprive the husband of his control over her, with the intention to possess illicit intercourse, then it might contribute an offence within the meaning of section.
Matrimonial cruelty in India may be a cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable offence. Whoever being the husband or the relative of husband of a lady, subjects her to cruelty shall be punished extending three years with a fine.
Inder Raj Malik VS Sunita Malik
Court held that the term cruelty is defined within the explanation says that the harassment of a woman with a view to coerce her or any related persons to satisfy an illegal demand for any valuable items or a property.
It may be recorded that majority of the offences concerning marriage are in absence of sexual offence against women. The aim of the offender is to realize sexual access.
Our faith on criminal justice system shouldn’t be meek and weak but positive and powerful from the view of victims suffering. Our perspective in such offence should be against inflicting cruelty from victims socio-economic position and since justice is that the supreme right of everybody!