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Allahabad HC: Misuse of Section 498A Impact Traditional Institution of Marriage

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Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: June 15, 2022 at 16:50 IST

The Allahabad High Court observed on Monday that the traditional institution of marriage is being impacted by the misuse of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and that live-in relationships, which are not bound by legal obligations, are replacing traditional marriage.

“Live-in relationships have subtly replaced the traditional marriages in our socio-cultural ethos”, Single-Judge Justice Rahul Chaturvedi observed. And, this is a ground fact that one must accept.

“It serves as a substitute to the traditional marriage, an unmarried couple can live together without being bound by responsibilities, commitment, and legal implications of a marriage”.

The traditional fragrance of our age-old institution of marriage would completely evaporate over period of time if such gross and unmindful misuse of section 498-A IPC would keep on pasted rampantly,” the Court observed.

The Judge said that when an unmarried man or woman chooses to live together under one roof in a sexual and romantic relationship, it is a voluntary agreement.

In light of the growing tendency to nail the husband and his family members by way of general and sweeping allegations, the High Court made these observations while issuing some safeguards to prevent the misuse of Section 498A.

In its order, the Court directed that following the filing of a First Information Report (FIR) in accordance with the provision, the matter shall be sent to a Family Welfare Committee (FWC) for two months without any arrests or coercive action being taken against the accused.