Monday, June 17, 2024

Denial of sex is cruelty but not an offence, rules K’taka HC

The Karnataka High Court has quashed criminal proceedings against a man and his parents lodged by his wife in connection with the denial of physical relationship.

“As per the Hindu Marriage Act-1955, denial of physical relationship by the husband amounted to cruelty, but not under IPC Section 489A,” the bench observed.

The bench headed by Justice M. Nagaprasanna gave the order while looking into the petition submitted by the husband. The petitioner’s husband had challenged the charge sheet filed by the police under IPC Section 498A and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act against him and his parents.

The bench observed that the sole allegation against the petitioner is that he believed that love is never about getting physical and it should be soul to soul. The petitioner claimed that he was the follower of a certain spiritual order.

The bench observed that the husband never intended to have a physical relationship with his wife. “Non consummation of marriage would undoubtedly amount to cruelty under section 12(1)(a) of the Hindu Marriage Act. But, it does not fall under the IPC Section 498A. The bench observed that criminal proceedings against the husband could not be proceeded as it would be an abuse of the process of law and result in miscarriage of justice

The couple were married on December 18, 2019 and the complainant wife stayed at the husband’s place for only 28 days. She filed a police complaint on February 5, 2020 under the IPC Section 498A, which deals with dowry harassment. She had also filed a case before the Family Court under Section 12(1)(a) of Hindu Marriage Act claiming that her marriage is not consummated.

After the annulment of her marriage, the wife had proceeded with the criminal case against her husband and his parents.

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