Question: What are the several offences relating to marriage set out in the Indian Penal Code? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What are the several offences relating to marriage set out in the Indian Penal Code?] Answer Chapter XX of IPC deals with offences relating to marriage. All these offences are within… Read More »

Question: What are the several offences relating to marriage set out in the Indian Penal Code? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What are the several offences relating to marriage set out in the Indian Penal Code?] Answer Chapter XX of IPC deals with offences relating to marriage. All these offences are within the institution of marriage. Following are the main offences under this chapter: Mock or invalid marriage (section 493 and 496). Bigamy (section 494...

Question: What are the several offences relating to marriage set out in the Indian Penal Code?

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What are the several offences relating to marriage set out in the Indian Penal Code?]

Answer

Chapter XX of IPC deals with offences relating to marriage. All these offences are within the institution of marriage. Following are the main offences under this chapter:

  1. Mock or invalid marriage (section 493 and 496).
  2. Bigamy (section 494 and 495).
  3. Adultery (section 497)
  4. Criminal elopement- seduction (section498)
  5. Cruelty by husband or relatives of husband (section 498A)

Section 493 providing for cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage states Every man who by deceit causes any woman who is not lawfully married to him to believe that she is lawfully married to him and to cohabit or have sexual intercourse with him in that belief shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine. It is non-cognizable and non-bailable.

Section 496- Marriage ceremony was fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage

Whoever dishonestly or with fraudulent intention goes through the ceremony of being married knowing that he is not thereby lawfully married shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable for a fine. It is non-cognizable and bailable.

In both sections, a woman is cheated by the man into believing that she is legally married to him, but men are fully aware that the same is not true.

Section 494- Marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife (Bigamy)

Whoever having a husband or life living marries in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of its taking during the life of such husband or wife. Shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and shall be liable for fine.

Exception: This section does not extend to any person whose marriage with such husband or wife has been declared void by a court of competent jurisdiction. Any person who contracts marriage during the life of former husband or wife, if such husband or while at the time of subsequent marriage shall been continually absent from such person for seven years and shall not be heard by such person as being alive within that time provided the person contracting such subsequent marriage takes place, inform the person with whom such marriage is contracted of the real state of facts so far as the same are within his or her knowledge

Section 495-

Same offences with concealment of former marriage from person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted. Whoever commits the offence defined in the last preceding section having concealed from the person with whom the subsequent marriage is contracted, the fact of the former marriage shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 497- Adultery

According to section 497, whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such a case wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.

Section 498- Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman

Whoever takes or entices away any woman who is and whom he knocks or has a reason to believe to be the wife of any other man, from that man, or from any person having the care of her on behalf of that man, with the intent that she may have illicit intercourse with any person, or conceals or detains with that intent any such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine or with both.

However, the Supreme Court in Joseph Shine v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 1676, struck down sections 497 and 498 as unconstitutional. The court decriminalized adultery and also struck down section 198 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) which considered only the husband of the woman as aggrieved under IPC sections 497 or 498.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. IPC Mains Questions Series Part I: Important Questions
  2. IPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. IPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. IPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
  8. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VIII: Important Questions
  9. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IX: Important Questions
  10. IPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions
Updated On 2021-08-30T10:00:35+05:30
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