Not having sex is cruelty under Hindu Marriage Act, not under IPC, says Karnataka HC | India News

BENGALURU: Denial of physical relationship by a husband amounted to cruelty under Hindu Marriage Act-1955, but not under section 498A of IPC, the Karnataka HC said in a recent judgment, quashing the proceedings against a man and his parents in a criminal case lodged by his wife in 2020.
The husband moved the high court challenging the chargesheet filed against him and his parents under IPC section 498A and section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
Justice M Nagaprasanna observed that the only allegation against the petitioner was that he was the follower of a certain spiritual order and believed that “love is never about getting physical, it should be soul to soul”.
The court noted that he “never intended to have physical relationship with his wife”, which would “undoubtedly amount to cruelty due to non-consummation of marriage under section 12(1)(a) of Hindu Marriage Act”. But it did not fall under the purview of cruelty as defined under section 498A, it said.
The couple married on December 18, 2019, but the wife stayed at the marital home for just 28 days. She filed a police complaint on February 5, 2020, under Section 498A and the dowry act. She also filed a case before the family court under Section 12(1)(a) of Hindu Marriage Act, seeking annulment of marriage on the ground of cruelty, citing that the marriage was not consummated. While the marriage was annulled on November 16, 2022, the wife decided to proceed with the criminal case.
The HC said criminal proceedings could not be permitted to continue or else it would be “an abuse of the process of law and result in miscarriage of justice.”

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