The Bombay high court on Monday said only a complainant’s husband and his relatives can be booked under Section 498A for subjecting a married woman to cruelty while hearing a case filed by a Beed woman against her husband and a 27-year-old Thane woman, who claims to be having an affair with the complainant’s husband. All three of them are doctors.
The Thane woman had approached the HC after the Beed city police station registered a case against her and the complainant’s husband. “Section 498A of the IPC cannot be invoked against the applicant, since she is not a relative of the husband of the complainant,” said the division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Sangitrao Patil while quashing prosecution against the 27-year-old doctor.
The complainant alleged that in December 2015, the Thane woman came to her husband’s clinic and told her that she had divorced her husband and was about to get married to complainant’s husband. Later, when the complainant asked her husband about teh woman, he beat her up and asked her to leave asked her to leave the house. This happened again in May 2016, which compelled her to approach the police.
According to the complaint, the Beed city police booked the Thane woman and the man under section 498A and some other provisions of the IPC. Section 498-A of the IPC prescribes punishment extending to three years and fine to “the husband or the relative of the husband of a married woman,” if they subject her to cruelty.
The HC bench after perusing the statement of the complainant and relevant witnesses, concluded that except making casual references, the complainant had not attributed any specific overt acts to the 27-year-old doctor. The bench, therefore, struck down the prosecution while saying that allowing it to continue would amount to abuse of the process of law.