498 A & Allied Criminal Proceedings
Matrimonial Cruelty in India is a cognizable, non bailable and non compoundable offence.
Section 498A deals with cruelty to women. The main objective of this law is to protect and safeguard the interest of married women who are subject to cruelty by the husband or his relatives.
The expression “cruelty” is defined in wide terms so as to include inflicting physical or mental harm to the body or health of the woman and indulging in acts of harassment with a view to coerce her or her relations to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security. Harassment for dowry falls within the sweep of latter limb of the section. Creating a situation driving the woman to commit suicide is also one of the ingredients of “cruelty”.
Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
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