The High Court of Andhra Pradesh has held that relatives of complainant wife does not become ‘Relative of the Husband’ to attract Section 498A IPC.
Justice U. Durga Prasad Rao quashed criminal proceedings against sister in law of the complainant (her brother’s wife), observing that she being a relative of the complainant, cannot be said to be the relative of the husband of the complainant. The Complainant had alleged in her complaint that her sister in law, developed illicit relationship with her husband, began spreading false rumours against complainant before relatives stating that complainant was not a suitable match to A1 and he was not liking her.
Referring to State of Punjab v. Gurmit Singh, the Court said “the phrase ‘relative of the husband’ employed in Section 498A IPC should be understood as relatives of the husbands side with whom he obtained relationship byway of blood, marriage or adoption. That being so A6 during the relevant period being the sister-in-law of complainant, she cannot be said to be the relative of the husband. It is true by virtue of marriage between A1 and complainant, the relatives of one side became relatives of both sides in a general sense. However, for the strict construction of penal provision under Section 498A, A6 who was the relative of the complainant, cannot be said to be the relative of the husband of the complainant.”
Read the Judgment here.