MERE SUS­PI­CION OF EX­TRA­MAR­I­TAL RE­LA­TION­SHIP BY HUS­BAND NOT ‘CRU­ELTY’ TO AT­TRACT SEC­TION 498A/306 IPC

CASE - K.V. PRAKASH BABU V. STATE OF KAR­NATAKA, SLP (CRL.) NO. 5928-5929 OF 2016

Libertatem Magazine - - From The Courtroom -

The Apex Court in K.V. Prakash Babu vs. State of Kar­nataka, has held that solely be­cause the hus­band is in­volved in an ex­tra-mar­i­tal re­la­tion­ship and there is some sus­pi­cion in the mind of wife that can­not be re­garded as men­tal cru­elty which could at­tract Sec­tion 498A/306 IPC.

BRIEF FACTS:

The pros­e­cu­tion case was that the wife felt ex­tremely hurt and, even­tu­ally be­ing un­able to with­stand the con­duct of the hus­band who was al­legedly in­volved in an ex­tra-mar­i­tal af­fair with an­other girl, put an end to her life. The High Court up­held the trial court judg­ment con­vict­ing him un­der Sec­tion 498A and also held him guilty un­der sec­tiio 306 IPC for abet­ing his wife to com­m­mit sui­cide.

The Supreme court ob­served that even if the il­licit re­la­tion­ship is proven, un­less some other ac­cept­able ev­i­dence is brought on record to es­tab­lish such high de­gree of men­tal cru­elty, the ex­pla­na­tion (a) to Sec­tion 498-A of the IPC which in­cludes cru­elty to drive the woman to com­mit sui­cide, would not be at­tracted. “It is man­i­fest that the wife was guided by the ru­mour that ag­gra­vated her sus­pi­cion which has no bound­ary”. The court also ob­served that there is no whis­per with re­gard to any kind of ill-treat­ment or cruel be­hav­iour by the hus­band other than the al­le­ga­tions of ex­tra-mar­i­tal re­la­tion­ship and said: “Ex­tra-mar­i­tal re­la­tion­ship, per se, or as such would not come within the am­bit of Sec­tion 498-A IPC. It would be an il­le­gal or im­moral act, but other ingredients are to be brought home so that it would con­sti­tute a crim­i­nal of­fence. It will de­pend upon the facts of the said case. To ex­pli­cate, solely be­cause the hus­band is in­volved in an ex­tra-mar­i­tal re­la­tion­ship and there is some sus­pi­cion in the mind of wife, that can­not be re­garded as men­tal

DATE OF DECISION22.11.2016

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