Once a lawful wedlock is established, a man cannot be accused of deceitful cohabitation

Rajasthan High Court: The petitioners preferred a miscellaneous petition under Section 482 of CrPC for quashing of FIR No. 98/2013 registered at P.S. Kotwali, District Chittorgarh for the offence under Sections 406, 420, 376 IPC.

Since the  counsel for the petitioner was able to establish a lawful marriage between  Petitioner 1 and Respondent 2, he strongly urged that the ingredients of Section 493 shall not be attracted as on the bare perusal of Section 493 IPC, an offence under Section 439 relates to deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage. Learned counsel for the petitioner further averred that the place of residence of the in-laws and the couple being different, a case under Sections 498-A and 406 of the IPC could not be made out against the in-laws. The Public Prosecutor opposed the submission and submitted a status report wherein an offence under Section 376 of IPC has not been made out on account of the lawfully valid marriage between  Petitioner 1 and Respondent 2.

After hearing counsel for the parties and perusing the record of the case, the High Court opined that the prosecution case under Section 493 of IPC was not made out as on the basis of the investigation report, it was clearly concluded that Petitioner 1 and Respondent 2 were residing together due to a lawful wedlock. The High Court partly allowing the miscellaneous appeal, held, “The cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage is very specific ingredient and once the lawful marriage has been established between the parties then such offence cannot be sustained in the eye of law.” [Mukesh v. State of Rajasthan,  2017 SCC OnLine Raj 2665, decided on 3.10.2017]

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