Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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Hemant Agarwal ( Mumbai : 9820174108)     25 May 2009



The Supreme Court has ruled that a girlfriend or a concubine is not a relative and therefore cannot be prosecuted for an offence under section 498 (A) of the IPC (cruelty for dowry).
A bench comprising Justices S P Sinha and R M Lodha, while allowing the appeal of U Suvetha, the alleged girlfriend of Tutus Gunaraj the husband of the complainant, in its judgment noted," By no stretch of imagination, a girlfriend or even a concubine in an etymological sense would be relative.
"The word relative brings within its purview a status. v Such a status must be conferred either by blood, marriage or adoption. If no marriage has taken place, the question of one being relative of another would not arise." Suvetha had filed an appeal against the judgment of the Madras High court August 1, 2008, which dismissed her petition for discharging the case.
Justice Sinha, while writing the 18-page judgment for the bench, however, noted," It is not the case of the first informant that the appellant had any role to play with regard to demand of dowry.
The word cruelty having being defined in terms of the aforesaid explanation, no other meaning, can be attributed there too.
Living with another woman may be an act of cruelty on part of the husband for the purpose of judicial separation or dissolution of marriage but the same, in our opinion , would not attract the wrath of section 498 (A) of the Indian Penal Code.
In the absence of any statutory definition, the term relative must be assigned a meaning as is commonly understood." The apex court set aside the impugned judgment of the High Court and concluded by saying, "We would assume that the term husband would bring within its fold a person who is said to have contracted a marriage with another woman and subjected her to cruelty."


 8 Replies

Mahesh V.P. (Advocate)     27 May 2009

Thanks for the update.

Hemant Agarwal ( Mumbai : 9820174108)     16 September 2009

Dear All,
The following appeared in  "Times of India", Mumbai Edition on September 16, 2009, page no. 05.


Keep Smiling ... HemantAgarwal

Proof of live-in is enough to claim maintenance: HC

Mumbai: A woman need not prove marriage to claim maintenance from her husband under the Criminal Procedure Code, she just has to provide evidence of having lived together with the man for a number of years, the Bombay high court has ruled

   Eighteen years after a neglected wife sought maintenance from her husband who disputed the marriage, Justice Abhay Oka asked a Pune resident to pay Rs 500 every month to the woman, including arrears from 1991. Under Section 125 of the CrPc, the court can order a man to pay maintenance to his neglected wife or parents

   The case before the HC was filed by Smriti who had married Pune resident Nilesh in 1981 and had a daughter from the marriage. 

   Nilesh subsequently married another woman and allegedly started ill-treating Smriti. She then moved the magistrate’s court seeking maintenance. Nilesh denied that he married Smriti and the subordinate courts agreed that she had failed to prove the wedding. The courts rejected her plea. 

   The high court said that the lower courts “proceeded on an erroneous footing that it was necessary for the woman to strictly establish the marriage by establishing performance of religious rites’’. 

   The high court cited Supreme Court verdicts which had ruled that under CrPc, the standard of proof of marriage was not as stringent as the objective was to provide a woman with “speedy remedy to obtain maintenance’’. 

   The HC further observed: “The Supreme Court has held that if the (woman) succeeds in showing that she had lived together with the (man) as wife and husband, the court can presume that they are legally wedded spouses.’’ 

   Justice Oka took into consideration the evidence of the sarpanch and the village police patil who stated that the couple lived together for seven to eight years.


Adinath@Avinash Patil (advocate)     27 September 2009

Verty good case law.

Hemant Agarwal ( Mumbai : 9820174108)     27 August 2010

Girlfriend can’t be called kin, says HC
(Times of India, Mumbai edition, 27th August,2010,  page no. 06_

Mumbai: With live-in relations being accorded sanctity by law, can a girlfriend be a relative, the Bombay high court wondered on Thursday.

   The court was hearing an application filed by a woman, Sunita, who had been named in a dowry harassment case. She had been dragged into the case filed by another woman, who claimed that Sunita was her husband’s girlfriend and had accused her of cruelty.

   A division bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice U D Salvi, in an interim order, stayed the criminal charges in the case against her till further orders.

   Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code deals with cruelty to a married woman by her husband or his relatives. The cruelty could also be for failing to meet the unlawful demands of property or valuable security. Cruelty could refer to the conduct of a husband or in-laws that is likely to drive a woman to commit suicide or cause grave injury to herself.

   Earlier, the Supreme Court, in a landmark order, had said that a girlfriend cannot be treated as a “relative’’ in a 498 A case. The apex court had held that a concubine or a mistress cannot be charged under Section 498A. By no stretch of imagination can a girlfriend or even a concubine... be a relative. The word relative brings within its purview a status that can be conferred either by blood or marriage or adoption, the Supreme Court bench had remarked.


Hemant Agarwal ( Mumbai : 9820174108)     16 September 2010

Other woman’ spared under 498A  : SC
(reproduced from  "Times of India", Mumbai Edition, 16-09-2010, page no. 16)

New Delhi: The other woman in a husband’s life could universally be a major source of marital discord but the wife cannot accuse the girlfiend of causing mental cruelty to her under Section 498A of the UPC, the Supreme Court has ruled.

   No case under Section 498A could be slapped against the other woman — “be it the husband’s girlfriend or concubine” — even if it was found that she lived with him, it said. At best it could be a ground for seeking divorce, it held.

   A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and A K Patnaik gave the ruling while allowing the appeal of a woman who was accused by the wife of causing cruelty by living with her husband after they split.

   Significantly, the bench set aside the decisions of a Jharkhand trial court and the high court, both of which had held that the girlfriend was liable to face trial.

   The question which arose for adjudication was a tricky one — If a husband was living with another woman, whether the same would amount to cruelty within Section 498A.

   Justice Kabir, writing the judgment, said, “If such other woman was not connected to the husband by blood or marriage, the same would not attract the provisions of Section 498A IPC, although it could be an act of cruelty for the purpose of judicial separation or dissolution of marriage under the marriage laws, but could not be stretched to amount to cruelty under Section 498A.”

   Referring to an earlier judgment, the bench said the SC had categorically held that a girlfriend or a concubine was not a relative of the husband within the meaning of Section 498A.

   Under the provision, only the husband or his relatives who subjected her to cruelty could be charged under the section, it said.


What's good about it?

It's said that a woman is another woman's greatest enemy .the courts are making this notion come true .


SC is encouraging adultery,inspiring women to break homes of legally wedded wives,separate father form his kids and traumatise them for life,make a man irresponsible towards his own family,teaching women how to exploit married men and so on...............................


on one hand our courts show concern over the increasing divorce rates & on the other encourage adultery like this

at the same time they have edpass laws like DV Act,498 a to help married womenfacing adultery


so this legal to married women as well as their destruction is going on side by these very courts,by pampering these women,the root cause of their problems

they dont even pass laws to punish such women who break homes of wives .....

are the courts confused about what they are doing?


they teach women that if u want money from men,dont marry.just start living with a married man,get money from him and then walk out whenever u want...........................................



 if a married man  marries his GF without divorce,even though this marriage will be null & void,still this illegal wife gets maintenance

on the other hand, if  a man's marriage is nullified with his 1st wife for any reason,she is not entitled for maintenance


shame on indian judiciary!!

Mayur (Employee)     21 May 2012

Dear Sir,

I am facing a case of 498 which filed by my wife in the year of 2009,   Total 4 names filed under 498.  Me, mother & father are joined with blood releationship but  one relatives girl  who take care of my old parents, also filed under 498.  So how can I remove relatives girl name from 498 case.  At this time case are running opposit party's jubani level.  Please help me.

Shonee Kapoor (Legal Evangelist - TRIPAKSHA)     23 May 2012

If she is a relative, she would need to stand trial.


Shonee Kapoor
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