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Girlfriend Or Concubine Not Liable For Prosecution U/S 498A IPC: Andhra Pradesh High Court

Hannah M Varghese
20 July 2021 7:34 AM GMT
Girlfriend Or Concubine Not Liable For Prosecution U/S 498A IPC: Andhra Pradesh High Court
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The Andhra Pradesh High Court earlier this week held that only a relative of a husband by blood or marriage is liable for prosecution under Section 498-A IPC (cruelty to woman).Justice Cheekati Manavendranath while quashing the FIR against the petitioner, observed that a girlfriend or concubine, not being connected by blood or marriage, is not a relative of the husband for the purpose of...

The Andhra Pradesh High Court earlier this week held that only a relative of a husband by blood or marriage is liable for prosecution under Section 498-A IPC (cruelty to woman).

Justice Cheekati Manavendranath while quashing the FIR against the petitioner, observed that a girlfriend or concubine, not being connected by blood or marriage, is not a relative of the husband for the purpose of Section 498-A IPC.

The petitioner was arrayed as the second accused in a case registered under Sections 498-A and 114 IPC. The allegation raised by the defacto complainant was that her husband, who is arraigned as the first accused, developed illegal intimacy with the petitioner. According to the complainant, the petitioner was her husband's girlfriend. 

Advocate Naga Praveen Vankayalapati appeared for the petitioner and sought to quash the FIR primarily on the ground that only relatives of the husband connected by blood or marriage are liable for prosecution under Section 498-A IPC. It was argued that a girlfriend or concubine was therefore not liable for prosecution under the provision. 

This Court found considerable force in the above contention of the petitioner, and opined as follows:

"It is now well-settled law that only a relative of a husband by blood or marriage is liable for prosecution under Section 498-A IPC. Girlfriend or concubine, being not connected by blood or marriage, is not a relative of the husband for the purpose of Section 498-A IPC. The Apex Court in the case of U. Suvetha Vs. State [(2009) 6 SCC 757], held that persons who can commit offence under Section 498-A IPC are husbands and relatives only. A girlfriend, being not a relative, cannot be charged under Section 498-A IPC."

In the light of the aforesaid legal position, the Court observed that the petitioner could make out a strong case warranting interference of the Court to ascertain whether launching of criminal prosecution under Section 498 A IPC was legally sustainable and whether the FIR registered against her was liable to be quashed or not.

Therefore, given the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court ordered that there shall be a stay of further proceedings pursuant to registration of FIR, only in respect of the petitioner. The Investigating Officer was also directed not to take any coercive steps including arrest against the petitioner. However, the Single Bench clarified that the investigation against the other accused shall go on.

Case Title: Anumala Aruna Deepika v. State of Andhra Pradesh

Click Here To Read / Download Order


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