The IPC specifically provides that whoever, being the husband or the relatives of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment, fine or both. Cruelty includes both physical and mental torture. Cruelty, has also been mentioned as one of the grounds of divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, The Special Marriage Act and various other personal laws.


The object of this is to punish a husband and his relatives who torture and harass the wife with a view to coerce her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demands, etc. Thus, this penal provision well and truly serves the purpose of protecting the dignity of the married women and to punish the offenders and also to prevent any sort of marital quarrel. It also binds the husbands and in-laws with a duty not to subject the women to any sort of torture, whatsoever. It also helps to reduce other marital crimes.

But, it is very unfortunate to notice that in the recent times, this provision has been grossly misused by the women. Keeping into mind the intensity of the offence, women-favorable attitude and the reluctance of the administrative bodies to investigate, few women are falsely accusing their husbands and in-laws just to get a divorce or to earn maintenance and alimony. Hence, it needs immediate attention of the legislature and a check and balance procedure needs to be established immediately.

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Post Contributed By:

Souradeep Rakshit
Asst. Prof. of Law
IILS, Dagapur



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