WHAT IS THE ROLE OF SECTION 498(a) OF INDIAN PENAL CODE IN THE CASES OF DIVORCE? CAN IT BE FILED AFTER THE DIVORCE?
Section 498(a) of the Indian Penal Code says “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 section basically deals with two very famous notions upon which the majority of divorce cases are filed by the wife. They are:
(i) Domestic Violence- A cruel act of the husband or relatives of the husband of mentally or physically torturing the wife is called domestic violence.
(ii) Demand for Dowry- A pressure on both the wife as well as her parents for the prize of the bride like a car, cash, house, etc. is called dowry.
In both these situations, the wife can take scary steps of taking her life herself or even she is forcefully killed by her in-laws and hence if an FIR is filed, they can be held liable and may have to suffer the punishment. It plays a vital role in the case of divorce as it may even result in instant divorce because it is a matter of criminal offense.
Yes, it can be filed after the divorce has already happened. It totally depends upon the extent of domestic violence and the merits that the parties have in the matter of the case.
– PREYANSI ANAND DESAI