In Karnail Chand and others v State of J&K and another, High Court of Jammu and Kashmir mentioned that wife in a void marriage can also file a case for cruelty under section 498A of Ranbir Penal Code.
Jammu and Kashmir State Ranbir Penal code or RPC was the main criminal code applicable in the erstwhile Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. According to section 498A RPC, a man and his relatives can be prosecuted under this section.
The High Court held that “when a person enterns into a marriage arrangement with a woman, he is covered by the definition of Husband contained in section 498A RPC irrespective of the legiticmacy of the marriage”.
A First Information Report (FIR) was lodged for the offence of cruelty under section 498A. A single-judge Bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar, dismissed the petition challenging FIR and guided police to investigate the matter further.
The court made its reliance on the judgement of Supreme Court, A Subhash Babu v. State of Andhra Pradesh (2011 7 SCC 616) and held that “when a person enters into a marriage arrangement with a woman, he is covered by the definition of Husband in section 498A”.