NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has ruled that no FIR can be registered against a man and his family members under dowry harassment charges after divorce. A Bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao held that prosecution under Section 498A of IPC or under other provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act will not be sustainable once a couple has separated under law.
The maximum punishment under penal provisions goes up to five years in jail along with monetary penalty. “Where the complainant approaches with a case that there has already been a divorce, Section 498A will not be attracted. Similarly, there cannot be a case under Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961,” the Bench said.
The court’s observation came while hearing a case when a man and his family approached it for quashing an FIR registered against them under Section 498A of IPC and Dowry Prohibition Act. The Allahabad High Court had in 2016 dismissed their plea for exoneration in the FIR lodged in Jalaun district of Uttar Pradesh. The lawyer for the former husband and his relatives submitted before the Bench that the prosecution was not tenable in view of the fact that the divorce took place almost four years before the FIR was filed.