Supreme Court: Extra – Husband’s Extra-Marital relationships cannot be the sole basis for conviction under sections 498A & 306 of the Indian Penal Code

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In ‘K.V. Prakash Babu vs. State of Karnataka’, an apex court bench led by Justice Dipak Misra o held that an ‘extra marital affair’ cannot be the sole reason for convicting a person for ‘cruelty’ under section 498A  of the Indian Penal Code. The bench stated that a man can’t be held accountable for his wife’s suicide on the mere suspicion of him having an extra marital affair.

The court observed that “Extramarital relationship, per se, would not come within the ambit of Section 498-A of the IPC. It would be an illegal or immoral act, but other ingredients are to be brought home so that it would constitute a criminal offence”.

The court further stated that cruelty constitutes a ground for divorce under various matrimonial provisions under the Indian law but it alone cannot involve conviction under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code. 

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