‘Prove marriage is legal’, High Court acquits husband of second wife’s allegations -aabtak24


Karnataka High Court: The Karnataka High Court acquitted the accused while giving an important verdict in an Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 498A (cruelty to a married woman). A complaint was lodged against the 46-year-old man by his second wife. The High Court found that this marriage itself is invalid, in such a case no case can be made out against the accused.

According to PTI, Justice S. Rachaiah, while hearing in a single bench, said in his judgment, when the complainant woman is said to be the second wife, then the complaint against the petitioner (husband) for the offense under section 498A of the IPC should not be considered. The bench said, the complaint filed by the second wife against the husband and his in-laws is not maintainable. The court also said that the trial court had erred in applying the law on this aspect while passing the judgement.

Trial Court convicted

The High Court gave this decision while hearing the revision petition of Kantaraju, a resident of Tamkuru district of Karnataka. The complainant woman had claimed that she was the second wife of Kantaraju and they had lived together for five years. He also has a son. Later the woman became a victim of paralysis and became helpless. The woman told that Kantaraju started torturing her after this. 

The woman filed a complaint against her husband. The trial court found him guilty in January 2029 after the hearing. In October the same year, the decision of the trial court was also accepted by the sessions court as correct. Kantaraju filed a High Court revision petition against the verdict.

Second wife not entitled to complain

The High Court found that the second wife was not entitled to make a complaint under 498A and on this basis set aside the order of the lower court. The High Court said that the prosecution has to prove that the marriage is legal or that she is the legally wedded wife of the petitioner. 

Supreme Court judgment cited

The High Court, citing the Shivcharan Lal Verma and P. Shivkumar case of the Supreme Court, said, "It is clear from these two judgments of the Supreme Court that if the marriage between husband and wife has ended as null and void, then the offense under Section 498A of IPC cannot be sustained." Setting aside the conviction of Kantharaju, the court said that the evidence proved that the woman was the second wife of the petitioner.

Based on inputs from PTI

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