Dowry harassment cases not permitted after divorce: SC

New Delhi, Sep 9: The Supreme court said that the prosecution under section 498A of IPC or under other provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act will not be viable after divorce. There cannot be any FIR against a man or his family under dowry harassment charges once the couple are divorced, it said.

A bench of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao said that once the divorce is completed, no man or woman can file a case of dowry harassment as section 498A will not be attracted anymore. Similarly, there cannot be a case under Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, the court said.

The maximum punishment under penal provisions goes up to five years in jail along with monetary penalty.

The judgement was passed after a case of a man and his family sought to squash an FIR registered against them under 498A of IPC and Dowry Prohibition act. The Allahabad High Court had dismissed their plea for acquittal in an FIR lodged in Jalaun district of Uttar Pradesh in 2016.

The lawyer of the former husband requested the court to acquit the family and the man since the woman was divorced four years before the registration of the FIR. Agreeing to it, the court said that, "In view of her own averment that she was divorced four years ago, we are of the view that the prosecution is not sustainable under section 498A of the IPC and Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

The Supreme court quashed the prosecution against all the accused persons under dowry harassment charges.

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