Section 498 –A of Indian Penal code states that “Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.”
This is a profoundly serious offence. Under this section “cruelty” can imply both mental and physical torture to the wife from the husband or any relative of the husband.
So, if a husband or a relative to a husband has subjected the wife towards cruelty of any form shall be punishable under this section.
The nature of this offence under section 498 – A is considered as a cognizable offence. The crime is also non- bailable, non-compoundable and can be tried by the magistrate of the first class. This offence is considered “compoundable” only in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
So, any person who has committed a crime under this offence shall be liable for imprisonment for a term which may extend to a period of three years and shall also be liable to pay a fine.
This section is not just considered as a marital remedy, but it most certainly carries a wider point of view.
In the case of B. S. Joshi v. State of Haryana, it was held that the husband or relatives of the husband can be punished under this section if they coerce the wife to satisfy unlawful demands of dowry.
The aim behind this section was to prevent torture of the wife from the husband or the family of the husband.
So in conclusion we can understand the implication of this secton in this society.