A petition was dismissed challenging a First Information Report (FIR) for an offence of cruelty under Section 498A and has directed police to investigate the matter.(Karnail Chand and others v. State of J&K and another). A single Judge Bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar on 23.12.2020 has ruled that under Section 498A of Ranbir Penal Code, a man and his relatives can be prosecuted for the offence of Cruelty even after marriage if such relation with woman was void.
The Jammu & Kashmir Court has held that irrespective of the legitimacy of the marriage, section 498A IPC says when a person enters into a marital arrangement with a woman, he is covered by the definition of ‘Husband’. It was, therefore, the case of the petitioners that since the respondent/complainant is not the legally wedded wife of accused Kuldeep Kumar, as such, offence under Section 498A cannot be made out against the petitioners.