Tag Archives: Dowry Demand

Cruelty Under Section 498-A – Prosecution Has to Prove Wilful Conduct

Cruelty under Section 498A means any willful conduct which is of such nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide. It also means harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand. Therefore, the prosecution has to prove a willful conduct, which is of such nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide. No such willful conduct has been established because none of the witnesses have given evidence to have seen the Accused indulging in such willful conduct that could drive a woman to commit suicide. Moreover, if a woman is harassed, that harassment should be with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security, or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand. Therefore, the prosecution has to prove that there was any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security by the Accused. None of the witnesses have stated that there was any such demand by the Accused. Therefore, the charge under Section 498A cannot stick. State of Maharashtra v. Anil Kurkotti, (2019) 3 HLR 823.

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Matrimonial Offences – Compounding of

Section 320 of the Code articulates public policy with regard to the compounding of offences. It catalogues the offences punishable under IPC which may be compounded by the parties without permission of the Court and the composition of certain offences with the permission of the court. The offences punishable under the special statutes are not covered by Section 320. When an offence is compoundable under Section 320, abatement of such offence or an attempt to commit such offence or where the accused is liable under Section 34 or 149 of the IPC can also be compounded in the same manner. A person who is under 18 years of age or is an idiot or a lunatic is not competent to contract compounding of offence but the same can be done on his behalf with the permission of the court. If a person is otherwise competent to compound an offence is dead, his legal representatives may also compound the offence with the permission of the court. Where the accused has been committed for trial or he has been convicted and the appeal is pending, composition can only be done with the leave of the court to which he has been committed or with the leave of the appeal court, as the case may be. The revisional court is also competent to allow any person to compound any offence who is competent to compound. The consequence of the composition of an offence is acquittal of the accused. Sub-section (9) of Section 320 mandates that no offence shall be compounded except as provided by this Section. Obviously, in view thereof the composition of an offence has to be in accord with Section 320 and in no other manner.  Compounding of offence, as has been given by Legislature in Section 320 Cr.P.C., has given first table, wherein few of offences are to be compounded, upon the consent and option of victims. In the second table, offences are compoundable on the option of victim with permission of Court concerned. Those offences are of grave nature, but with permission of Court, offence given in second table, may be compounded. Regarding those offences, which have not been compoundable, under provision of Legislature, this law has been developed by apex court that where union of family seems to be probable and the dispute is of matrimonial nature and they are not of heinous offence, then in the interest of justice, with a view to avoid children from any ruin, out of dispute in between parents, the offence punishable under Section 498-A I.P.C. or likewise, which are not of grave consequences and effect into society, may be quashed, in exercise of inherent jurisdiction of High Court acknowledged under Section 482 Cr.P.C. Under this provision of law, developed by Hon’ble Apex Court, quashing of proceeding for offence of dowry demand and cruelty etc., where compromise has been entered in between, are being made by High Court, though it is not within domain of trial court Magistrate or Sessions Judge. Munish Jain v. State of U.P., Application U/s 482 CrPC No. 5330 of 2012.

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