Prosecution U/s 498A IPC And Dowry Prohibition Act Not Sustainable When The Complaint Is Filed Long After Divorce: SC [Read Order]

Prosecution U/s 498A IPC And Dowry Prohibition Act Not Sustainable When The Complaint Is Filed Long After Divorce: SC [Read Order]

‘Where the complainant approaches with a case that there has been a divorce long back i.e. four years ago before filing of the FIR, section 498A of IPC in terms would not be attracted.’

The Supreme Court has held that prosecution under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, is not sustainable when the complaint is filed long after the divorce.

In this case (Mohammad Miyan vs. State of Uttar Pradesh), a lady had filed an FIR against her husband and his relatives alleging offences under Sections 498A, 323, 325, 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. She herself had stated in the complaint that they got divorced almost four years before the filing of the FIR.

As both the trial court and the high court refused to discharge the accused, they approached the apex court.

The apex court bench found favour with the contention on behalf of the accused that the prosecution under Section 498A of IPC was clearly not tenable in view of the case of the complainant herself that there had been a divorce almost four years before filing of the FIR.

The bench of Justice SA Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao said: “In view of her own averment that she was divorced four years ago, we are of the view that the prosecution is not sustainable under section 498A of the IPC and Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

…. “Section 498A of the IPC opens with the words “Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman….” Therefore, where the complainant approaches with a case that there has been a divorce long back i.e. four years ago before filing of the FIR, section 498A of IPC in terms would not be attracted. We accordingly consider it appropriate to quash the prosecution against all the accused persons under section 498A of IPC and Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.”

The bench, however, held that prosecution in respect of other offences under Sections 323, 325, 504 and 506 of IPC must be dealt with differently.

Read the Order Here